The Department of Sociology at UCSB maintains a multi-level and multi-method approach to social inquiry, with special strength and international visibility in six interrelated areas of research: Conversation Analysis; Culture; Global Studies; Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies; Race, Ethnicity, and Nation; and Social Movements, Revolutions and Social Change. These areas of research organize, rather than constrain, the extensive research conducted here. UCSB Sociology is ranked Number One in the area of Sex and Gender (2013 US News and World Report) and is among the top ten programs in the Sociology of Culture.

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the UCSB Sociology Department. Established in 1944, our highly ranked department is among the most diverse nationwide in terms of faculty and students. Our faculty include internationally renowned scholars whose research and teaching have influenced intellectual developments affecting the landscape of the discipline, including intersectional analysis of social phenomena, new approaches to the study of gender and sexualities, social movements as drivers of social and political change, the “cultural turn” in Sociology, and a “reflexive turn” in ethnography. In 2022, the US News and World Report Guide to Graduate Departments ranked USCB Sociology third nationwide in the subfield of Sex and Gender, and tenth in Sociology of Culture.


Our core areas of long-standing strength are Gender and Sexualities; Culture; Race, Ethnicity, and Nation; and Global Sociology. We also have specializations in Demography; Environmental Sociology; Health and Medicine; Immigration; Justice, Law and Human Rights; Social Interaction and Conversation Analysis; and Social Movements.

Many of our faculty play leadership roles in the discipline, and many faculty, students, and alumni model interdisciplinarity, social justice, and public-facing scholarship through their work.

Our undergraduate program is large and vibrant and the department now graduates more Sociology majors than any other university in the country. Some of our students go on to graduate programs in Sociology and other academic disciplines, and others pursue careers law, education, social work, health care, public policy, and civil society organizations to name a few. Our graduate students are trained and mentored to undertake ambitious dissertation projects on a wide variety of topics. To nurture intellectual dialogue and specialized expertise, department faculty and grad students convene workshops on topics of shared interest that provide exposure and engagement with cutting-edge developments in scholarship. Many graduates obtain tenure-track teaching positions in universities and colleges, and others build careers in the public sector, community-based networks, and philanthropic and research institutions.

You are invited to explore this web page to learn more about our department, including the specializations and achievements of our faculty, and details about the academic program and other learning opportunities available to our students. Thank you for your interest in Sociology at UCSB.

Lisa Hajjar
Professor and Chair