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UMass Amherst Sociology is a generalist department with multiple strengths in research and teaching. Uniting many faculty and student research is an emphasis on social inequality. At the core of the department are four complementary areas of exceptional strength: Work, Economy, and Organizations; Gender, Sexuality, and Families; Movements, Politics, and Transnational Processes; and Race, Ethnicity and Citizenship. Four additional sub-fields include Social Demography, Social Networks, Culture and Identity, and Crime, Law, and Deviance.

Recent scholarship by faculty has examined abstinence pledging and reproductive health, adolescent sexuality, the racialized market for online dating matches, workplace flexibility and scheduling, financialization and income inequality, gender and race employment and earnings gaps, white supremacy movements, historically black colleges, feminist movements in Latin America, music festivals in urban centers, and much more. Faculty are active in obtaining external funding, with recent grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, Fulbright Fellowships, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Prometheus Fellowships, the Guggenheim Foundation, and many others.