Department of Sociology

Visit department's website:
295 Lafayette Street • New York, NY 10012-9605 • 212-998-8340

Chair of the Department

Professor Arum

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associate Professor Ertman

C. Wright Mills once defined sociology as the intersection of history and biography. That is, sociology studies the ways that social structures and interactions shape human experience. Sociologists seek to understand the full range of social institutions and practices, from the dynamics of couples and small groups to the shape of institutions such as the church, occupations, and the family to the functioning of communities, cities, and whole societies. Sociological methods of research are diverse, ranging from the quantitative analysis of large surveys to qualitative approaches, such as in-depth interviewing, participant observation, and historical investigation.

The Department of Sociology at NYU reflects the diversity of the discipline. The faculty includes experts in deviance, law, and crime; organizations, occupations, and work; politics, social protest, and social policy; education, inequality, and social mobility; culture, art, and mass media; urban community and the global city; and sex, gender, and the family. The department encourages students to study issues from a variety of perspectives and to develop a "sociological imagination" that enables them to analyze social arrangements and problems. Whether the goal is to become an informed citizen or an expert in a special field, the department offers the tools and knowledge to help students make sense of the world around them.