Welcome message from the Department Chair, Miguel A. Centeno
The Department of Sociology at Princeton University is known nationally and internationally for its excellence in teaching and research. Its approximately 20 full-time faculty are dedicated to bringing the rigorous methods of sociological inquiry to bear on such topics as the continuing sources and consequences of racial and gender inequality, the problems immigrants face in adapting to the United States, and what it is like to be working and yet poor, the effects of globalization on power, how culture shapes medical knowledge, how religious practices influence attitudes and values, where family and child-rearing patterns are headed, why organizations function as they do, and a host of other issues of timely importance. Areas of emphasis include sociology of culture and religion, economic sociology and organizations, migration and development, social demography, social inequality, regional and comparative studies, urban ethnography, and advanced statistics.
The department takes pride in being an integral part of Princeton's unrivaled undergraduate education experience and a contributor to the University's strengths in cutting-edge research and graduate training. To these ends, the faculty work closely with students in small seminar settings and through personalized instruction and collaboration. With about 40 graduate students in residence and 80 undergraduate majors, it is possible to nurture close student-faculty interaction. Besides its regular courses, the department facilitates lively discussions of research in progress through regular workshops and seminars in culture and inequality, economic sociology, religion and public policy, and social demography.
One of the most exciting aspects of the department is its commitment to teaching and research that spans disciplinary boundaries. Many of the faculty hold joint appointments with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and include policy issues among their interests. The department also has strong ties with the Office of Population Research, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and various area studies programs, and has played a pivotal role in forming the Center for Migration and Development, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Global Network on Inequality, among other initiatives.
Firm and generous University support has allowed the department to compete effectively for research resources, external recognition, and prospective students. Simultaneously, we have endeavored to preserve an atmosphere of collegiality and mutual knowledge based on a mid-size faculty and limited cohorts of students. All courses for the major are taught by regular faculty members, and concentrators are readily exposed to the faculty's ideas and research projects. Unlike the situation in larger academic units, this enables us to provide faculty advising to all of our concentrators.