Research in Brief

Our faculty and graduate students conduct groundbreaking research in a number of impactful areas of sociology. We have particular strengths in the areas of Crime and Law; Culture; Gender; Health and Mental Health; Immigration, Race and Ethnicity, Networks and Community; Political Sociology; and Work, Stratification and Markets. We also have strengths in Sociological Theory and in both Quantitative and Qualitative Methods. Read more about our areas on the Areas of Research Expertise Page. Our graduate students are also very active in the research program of the department, many of them publishing peer reviewed articles throughout their graduate career. Read about the graduate student publications and accolades in the Student Research section of the Department News page.

Professor Jennifer Adese‘s research is in the areas of Indigenous Studies, visual sociology, representation, discourse, race, racism, and racialization, colonization and decolonization. She examines these questions in relation to literature, art, and social and political movements. She has published on representation in the context of Indigenous art, social and political activism, and holds a SSHRC Insight Development Grant examining Métis women’s political organizing and activism. She is also co-editor of two forthcoming books: A People and a Nation: New Directions in Contemporary Métis Studies (UBC Press) and Indigenous Celebrity: Entanglements with Fame (University of Manitoba Press).
Professor Sharla Alegra’s scholarship examines the paradox of persistent gender and race inequality despite seemingly widespread rejection of discrimination across individuals and institutions. Two broad goals drive her research agenda: (1) to understand how inequalities persist when individuals and institutions publicly reject discrimination and (2) to understand the equity related consequences of the shift toward flexible workplace practices, especially in knowledge-based, globally interconnected work. She centers organizational structure, public policy, and cultural practices through an intersectional, globally aware framework to understand how durable inequalities persist in the contemporary labour market.
Professor Monica Alexander is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed to the Sociology and Statistical Sciences departments. Her research focuses on developing statistical methods to help measure and understand disparities in health outcomes. She works on methods which combine data from censuses and surveys, with non-traditional data sources, such as social media and administrative records, to understand bias and uncertainty in the measurement of outcomes. She has worked on demographic research with organizations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the Human Mortality Database.
Professor Zaheer Baber’s research focuses on the sociology of science and technology, with a special emphasis on science and empire, the internet and social activism, the culture of scientific research, visual sociology, university-industry-state relations, globalization, religion, race and ethnicity. He has recently conducted research into the role of botanical gardens in the co-production of botanical science and empires in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Jayne BakerProfessor Jayne Baker’s research interests are all centrally connected to postsecondary education. They include the transition to higher education, the intersections of gender and field of study choice, and universities as gendered institutions. Her most recent research project in the field looks at the impact of university prestige on success in the labour market. Her second set of research interests are rooted in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. She is particularly interested in exploring learning and engagement in large classes, the effective integration of writing instruction, and active learning approaches.
Professor Shyon Baumann specializes in the sociological study of media and culture to address questions of cultural legitimacy, classification, and evaluation, as well as social inequality. Past empirical topics include the film industry, gourmet food tastes, and television and print advertising. With co-authors, he is currently working on a project on classed cultural consumption patterns, and with Josée Johnston he is working on a project on taste, risk and politics in the industrial and alternative meat industries. This last project, with Professor Josée Johnston, is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Ellen BerreyProfessor Ellen Berrey’s research examines law, racism, inequality, culture, and organizations to understand the politics and paradoxes of solving social problems. Her books and articles to date have explored organizational discourse on diversity, employment discrimination litigation, affirmative action, political and legal activism, sustainability politics, and gentrification. Her current projects investigate anti-racism student protests, affirmative action policy in U.S. higher education, benefit corporations and social entrepreneurship, and populist opposition to sustainability planning.
Brent BerryProfessor Brent Berry researches health inequalities. He is interested in how complex causal processes operate over time to shape stratification and inequality, and is known for using innovative methods to provide a fresh perspective on old problems. His interests include physical activity, food marketing aimed at children, race and ethnic relations, housing, and segregation. He is also interested in the impact of economic stress on demographic patterns and on health outcomes. His research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Professor Jeffrey Boase’s research examines the role of communication technology in personal networks. Rather than treating technology as an external force that uniformly shapes personal networks, his work situates the use of specific communication technologies within a variety of work, family, and friendship arrangements. To accomplish this, Professor Boase draws on several methods and data sources, including digital trace data, national surveys, and in-depth interviews.
Boyd, MonicaProfessor Monica Boyd, FRSC, Canada Research Chair in Immigration, Inequality and Public Policy, is an expert on immigration and on the gendered and racial dimensions of inequality. Her current interests include the social and economic integration of the children of immigrants, the labour market integration of immigrants and the recruitment and employment of migrant women in care work. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Professor Joseph M. Bryant is a historical sociologist and his primary scholarly interests are in the areas of philosophy of science, the sociology of culture (philosophy and religion, most notably), comparative world history and the “Great Divergence” problematic, and the ancient Mediterranean civilizations of Greece and Rome, with a specific focus on the rise of Christianity. His research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Robert BrymProfessor Robert Brym, FRSC, SD Clark Professor of Sociology, studies the social bases of politics and social movements in Canada, Russia, and the Middle East and North Africa. Since 2000, his research has included work on the Canadian professoriate, the Russian state bureaucracy, collective and state violence in Israel and Palestine, public opinion in the Middle East and North Africa, and student protest in Canada. His research is supported mainly by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Christian CaronProfessor Christian Caron’s research falls within two areas: the philosophy of social science and historical sociology; and the scholarship of teaching and learning and curriculum studies. For the former, his research puts reflexivity to work by using it as a lens to ‘make sense’ of the development, nature and role of Mannheim’s, Garfinkel’s, Gouldner’s and Bourdieu’s sociology. For the latter, he investigates the application of principles of active learning in course design and program design, the use of meaningful assessments, the fostering of collaborative learning strategies, and the promotion of student engagement in large classroom settings.
Clayton ChildressProfessor Clayton Childress’ research focuses on the creation, production, and consumption of culture, with books and book publishing as a frequent site of study. Current projects include data on the long-term consequences of the rewards system for the Booker Prize for Fiction, the creation and production of Nelson Mandela’s memoirs, the relationship between category blending and popularity for musicians and bands, and the generalizability of omnivorous tastes.
Professor Anna Katyn Chmielewski (cross-appointed) examines trends and patterns of educational inequality, both internationally and over time. Current and recent projects have investigated socio-economic disparities in academic achievement, school segregation, curricular differentiation/streaming/tracking, and the consequences of childhood inequality for university access and adult skills. Her research has been supported by SSHRC, the Spencer Foundation and the American Educational Research Association.
Hae Yeon ChooProfessor Hae Yeon Choo’s research centers on the intersections of gender, sexuality, transnational migration, and citizenship. Her current research examines the politics of land ownership in contemporary South Korea, delving into how the paradox of democratic citizenship emerges alongside deepening economic inequality. She has written on how inequalities of gender, race, and class affect migrants’ practice of rights through a comparative study of Filipina women in South Korea. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and by the National Research Foundation of Korea.
Professor Cynthia Cranford studies the intersection of work, gender and international migration. She is currently conducting a collaborative comparative, qualitative analysis of the home care sectors of several cities in Canada and the U.S. at the levels of state policy, the labour market, and daily interactions between employers, workers and care recipients. The current study examines how the conditions of work vary based on the organization of work, and probes how new ways of organizing work might improve both its quality and the quality of care. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Prentiss Dantzler studies urban poverty, housing policy, neighbourhood change, and community development. His research specifically looks at how and why communities change and how policymakers and communities create and react to those changes. Current projects include 1) the relationship between housing subsidies and neighbourhood change across the Greater Toronto Area, 2) nonprofits and diverging views of gentrification, 3) the relationship between community associations and segregation in the U.S., and 4) racial capitalism and urban processes.
Professor Scott Davies, Canada Research Chair in Data, Equity and Policy in Education (cross-appointed) has a research speciality in the Sociology of Education. His research projects have focused on the impact of summer learning on achievement gaps, varieties of educational organizations, and trajectories of student achievement over several years. He is co-author of four editions of The Schooled Society and co-editor of Education in a New Society.
Professor Ronit Dinovitzer is a sociologist of the professions. Her research on the legal profession draws together analyses of the professions with research in social policy, including the social organization of lawyers, the role of labour markets, and the effects of culture on professional work. She is currently involved in two national studies of lawyer careers (in Canada and the US), as well as a project on ethical decision-making and professional autonomy in large law firms. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Laura Doering is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Management with a cross-appointment in the Department of Sociology. As an economic sociologist, she examines how interactions and social psychological processes shape outcomes for households, organizations, and markets.
Dokshin, FedorProfessor Fedor Dokshin studies social movements and political behaviour with a focus on the role of organizations and social networks. He uses primarily quantitative and computational approaches. His recent research examines how emerging energy industries become politically contested and how this contestation might influence regulation and policymaking, the emergence of new industries, and the distribution of health and environmental risks.
Professor Alicia Eads conducts research on how cultural meaning affects economic and political processes, with an aim to provide insight into the causes and consequences of economic inequality. Her recent work has focused on the policy response to the housing market collapse in the recent financial crisis in the United States.
Professor Emine Fidan Elcioglu’s research focuses on class, race, and the politics of migration in North America. She is particularly interested in understanding how and why citizens participate in struggles around immigration and national gatekeeping—a topic that she has ethnographically explored in her book, Divided By the Wall: Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (2020). Her current research on private refugee sponsorship continues to examine these questions in the context of Canada. Her work has been supported by Connaught New Researcher Award.
Professor Bonnie Erickson’s current research uses social network mapping to examine the networks within and between ethnic groups and the mainstream in Toronto, and to examine how contacts and cultures affect occupational attainment and ethnic self-image. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Pat Erickson studies illicit drug use and drug policy, with particular emphasis on the application of harm reduction approaches. The normalization of cannabis has been a particular focus of recent work. She has conducted several studies of youth violence in relation to drug selling and firearms. Current research evaluates a new screening tool to assess mental health and substance use problems in Ontario youth who are held in custody facilities, and its impact on outcomes compared to standard practice.
Professor Luisa Farah Schwartzman  studies how people and institutions use racial categories, and ideas about race, to maintain, or help dismantle, unequal social structures. Much of her work has focused on Brazil, where she has published on diverse topics such as affirmative action, the intergenerational “whitening” and stratification, and the relationship between racialization and violence. In collaboration with co-authors, she has also written on the meaning, use and interpretation of racial and “immigrant background” statistics in German and the UK. She is currently working on a book on the history of slavery, colonialism and race in the Americas.
Professor Jessica Fields (cross-appointee) focuses on racialized and gendered discourses of vulnerability and risk in sexuality education. In studies of school communities, HIV education, and public health campaigns, she explores the ways discourse curtails and produces gendered and racialized lessons about the relationships, identities, desires, and behaviors that people imagine and pursue for themselves and others. Fields is currently completing her second book, Problems We Pose: Feeling Differently about Qualitative Research, in which she welcomes emotion and feeling as a source of insight—not an obstacle to understanding, She is PI on a Toronto COVID Action Imitative study of Queers and COVID in Toronto (funding from UofT and UTSC).
Professor Jerry Flores is an ethnographer who does research in the areas of intersectionality and crime, prison studies, Latina/o sociology and work on the school to prison pipeline. As a whole, his work investigates how race, class, gender, sexuality and other identities influence people’s trajectories through the educational and penal institutions. His new work will investigate issues related to mental health and policing, and the use of video ethnography.
Professor Ethan Fosse’s research focuses on demographic approaches to social and cultural change. He is working primarily on three interrelated projects: first, creating a new set of techniques for identifying age-period-cohort effects, with wide application in sociology and related fields; second, explaining social and cultural change, focusing on the economic, religious, and political views of recent birth cohorts; finally, developing and applying tools such as text regression or, more generally, high-dimensional sparse regression models, to quantitatively analyze textual data. In addition, building off his work on age-period-cohort models, he has recently begun a project analyzing the consequences of downward socioeconomic mobility.
Philip GoodmanProfessor Phil Goodman’s research focuses on punishment, prisons, identity, race/ethnicity, and work in carceral institutions. He is particularly interested in the diverse spectrum of prisoners’ experiences across institutions of confinement. He has two currently-funded projects: one studying punishment in Canada through the lens of prison farms and the other studying the ways in which ex-prisoners navigate the barriers to re-entry into society. His research is supported by the Connaught fund and by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Robin Gray’s research explores the social, legal, discursive and material realities of settler colonialism, and the politics of Indigeneity in historical and contemporary view. She is interested in how society comes to “know” Indigenous people, how Indigenous people navigate the settler colonial condition, and how people and institutions respond to Indigenous claims for ownership, access and control of Indigenous cultural heritage. Her current project in this area uses multi-sited ethnography, community-based research, decolonial theory and methodology, and Ts’msyen law to explore the dynamics of repatriating Ts’msyen songs from archives to her community.
Professor Adam Isaiah Green’s areas of research include the sociology of sexuality, gender, medical sociology, HIV/AIDS and theory. He has conducted considerable research into the gay sexual subcultures in New York City and downtown Toronto to understand erotic sites in terms of field theory. He also has projects exploring same sex marriage and the history of HIV prevention in the United States and Canada. His work has been supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Angelina Grigoryeva’s research lies at the intersection of economic sociology, organizations, social demography, and inequality and stratification.  Her research agenda can be organized around two themes. First, she examines changes in household financial lives in the course of financialization of the U.S. economy and their implications for inequality. Second, she examines how gender and race shape economic activity, including both paid work and unpaid family labour.
Professor Julius Haag studies policing, youth justice, racialization, ethnicity, and criminalization. His research focuses on the lived experiences of young people from racialized and marginalized backgrounds in conflict with the law. In particular, he has focused on the individual and community-level impacts of policing and criminalization. He has also worked extensively on evidence-based approaches to preventing and intervening in the criminalization of young people. His current research examines how young people navigate community-level violence and the role of social media in mediating interpersonal conflicts. His research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
John HanniganProfessor John Hannigan is an urban/environmental sociologist who focuses on the social construction of issues and policies in a variety of settings ranging from smart growth/cities networks to fracking (methane gas drilling) to the international politics of natural disasters. In his most recent book, The Geopolitics of Deep Oceans, he argues that our understanding of the deep depends on whether we see it primarily as a resource cornucopia, a global political chessboard, a shared commons, or a unique and threatened ecology.
Professor Joe Hermer is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He studies crime and poverty in urban settings. His research specializes in the aesthetics, ideas and programs of policing and regulation with a special interest in poverty and vulnerable populations.
Steve G. HoffmanProfessor Steve G. Hoffman is a theorist and ethnographer interested in the politics of knowledge production. His work primarily engages with science and technology studies, organizational behaviour, cultural sociology, political sociology, and social policy. His current projects include a comparative ethnography of Artificial Intelligence labs as they endeavour to remake what counts as science in an era of academic capitalism, an examination of how knowledge about large-scale socio-technical disasters gets created and used, and a general rethinking of social constructionism for twenty-first-century social science.
Professor Jonathan Horowitz researches life transitions and events in young adulthood, education, and work. More specifically, Jonathan studies the effect of educational institutions and life course transitions on position in the labour market and communities, and the resulting effects on inequality and political participation. These topics include how schooling–especially higher education–affects the credentialing and sorting of graduates, provides a central location which draws students towards them, and is a social system for producing network ties.
Professor Ping-Chun Hsiung studies knowledge production and ignorance perpetuation in local and global contexts. In a SSHRC-funded project, she uses historical ethnography, archival research, and in-depth interviews to examine investigative research during China’s Great Leap Forward (1958-62). In a Ford Foundation-funded project, she collaborates with Chinese women’s NGOs to analyze rural women’s participation in local governance in China (1995-2015). Professor Hsiung facilitates and contributes to critical dialogues across the core/periphery, Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal, and science/social science divides to advance the interpretative paradigm of social science inquiry, and is the founder and chair of the Forum of Critical Chinese Qualitative Research.
Professor Nathan Innocente studies punishment, pedagogy, and crime and organizations. His research examines youth criminal justice diversion, learning and engagement in large classes, and how institutional shifts and identity theft create opportunities for real estate fraud. His current research examines problem-based learning in criminology, systemic opportunities for white-collar crime in the mortgage industry, and the intersection between culture, organizations, and forms of white-collar and organized crime.
Professor Josée Johnston’s research is the sociological study of food, consumption and gender.  Her work examines discourses of gourmet cuisine and ethical consumption, and investigates how consumers use food as a source of social status and an avenue for social transformation. Johnston’s most recent book project studies the connections between food and femininity. Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, The Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and by the Province of Ontario’s Early Researcher Award.
Anna KortewegProfessor Anna Korteweg studies gender and immigrant integration processes in Western Europe and Canada. She looks at the impact of public debate on policymaking and the formation of national narratives, focusing on such topics as headscarves, burkas, Sharia or Islamic law, honour-related violence, and multiculturalism. She has also recently begun work on a project studying the gendered and gendering effects of the increasing precariousness of residence status in Canada. Her research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Patricia LandoltProfessor Patricia Landolt’s research focuses on understanding the relationship between global migration and social inequality through a community-engaged research practice. Her research has pushed forward thinking about transnational migration, precarious work and precarious legal status, and the politics of noncitizenship. She has conducted research on Latin American refugee political incorporation, racialized workers’ experiences of precarious work and income security, and the ways these intersect with precarious legal status. Current projects focus on access to schooling for precarious legal status students in the City of Toronto; and legal status as a new fault line in Canadian society.
Professor Jooyoung Lee is an urban ethnographer who writes about gun violence, health disparities, gangs, emotions, creativity, and Hip Hop culture. He has conducted an ethnography of aspiring rappers from Project Blowed, South Central LA’s oldest Hip Hop open mic. He is currently writing about gunshot victims in Philadelphia and has an ongoing methodological study of videos. He has an ongoing project studying how murders transform families and communities, and is collaborating with Julian Tanner, Pat Erickson, and Scot Wortley on a SSHRC-funded project about youth gun involvement in Toronto. Professor Lee also has Connaught funding.
Professor Yoonkyung Lee is a political sociologist specializing labour politics, social movements, political representation, and the political economy of neoliberalism with a regional focus on East Asia. Her research probes how socially marginalized actors mobilize to gain a social and political voice and how they interact with civil society and political institutions. Her current research project traces the historical formation of political opposition in Korea, the politics of which has been shaped equally by a strong state and a vocal democracy movement. Another stream of research focuses on diverse modes of labour’s reaction to rising socioeconomic inequality in East Asia.
Professor Vanina Leschziner works in the areas of theory, culture, cognition, and organizations. She specializes in the study of the social logic of cultural creation. Her research has focused on the highly stratified world of elite chefs in the U.S., where she has examined the culinary styles, careers, cognitive patterns, status and social networks of chefs to develop a theory to explain the patterning of cultural creation. She is also involved in a project that investigates intellectuals’ struggles for reputation and authority in the academic world and the public sphere.
Professor Ron Levi focuses his research on the internationalization of law, and on the social and political dimensions of urban crime, mass violence, and atrocities. He is particularly interested in connecting comparative and historical sociology, the sociology of law, and cultural sociology. His current projects include attention to how people imagine the possibilities of institutional reform, how expertise is created in international legal fields, and the relationship between legality, crime, and everyday life. Professor Levi also directs the Global Justice Lab in the Munk School of Global Affairs, a multidisciplinary research laboratory focusing on justice systems under stress and strain.
Kathy LiddleProfessor Kathy Liddle’s research interests lie at the intersection of the fields of culture, organizations, and gender/sexuality. Her research project on feminist bookstores explores the contexts of their emergence and decline; the challenges and opportunities presented by blending market and feminist logics of organizing; and how these stores contributed to fostering feminist thought in general and lesbian-feminist community in particular. She has also been involved in research projects dealing with the orchestral music canon, mainstream female recording artists, and music festivals. Professor Liddle also has a strong interest in the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Sida LiuProfessor Sida Liu’s research interests include the sociology of law, organizations and professions, criminal justice, globalization, and social theory. He has conducted extensive empirical research on China’s legal reform and legal profession, including the globalization of corporate law firms, the political mobilization of criminal defense lawyers, the feminization of judges, and the career mobility of law practitioners. He also writes on sociolegal theory and general social theory, particularly theories of social space and social process following the tradition of Georg Simmel and the Chicago School of sociology.
William MageeProfessor William Magee  is particularly interested in how moral and emotional aspects of social and personal problems unfold over the life course. He has studied class, race and/or gender inequalities in specific forms of ill-being (e.g. forms of anxiety, distress, anger & disappointment) and well-being (e.g. autonomy, pride, optimism and satisfaction). Current and planned projects attempt to integrate the above with the study of networks and practices..
Neda MaghboulehProfessor Neda Maghbouleh, Canada Research Chair in Migration, Race and Identity, researches the lives of immigrants from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region to North America. Her first book, published in 2017, analyzes how the children of Iranian immigrants live at the “limits of whiteness” in the United States. She has begun two new collaborative projects that further her work on racism and Islamophobia: the first (with colleagues at UofT Sociology and funded by SSHRC and the Ontario Early Researcher Award) addresses the integration and mental health of Syrian refugee newcomers in Toronto; another (with colleagues in the U.S.) uses experimental survey research to measure and theorize a “new U.S. ethno-racial hierarchy.”
Paula MauruttoProfessor Paula Maurutto studies the intersection between social policy and criminal justice. Her research contributes to the areas of punishment, risk theory, surveillance and the nonprofit sector. Her current project examines how community organizations are reshaping legal practices in specialized courts. Other areas of her research focus on of the impact of risk assessments and criminal records on marginalized populations. Her work is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Bree McEwan’s research focuses on the intersection between interpersonal communication and communication technology. Her book Navigating New Media Networks explore how communication technology, in particular social media facilitates interpersonal communication processes and relationships. She has published two measures, the Facebook Relational Maintenance measure, and the Perceived Social Affordances of Communication Channels scale. Dr. McEwan’s recent projects involves tests of an original theory of online information diffusion, the Mediated Skewed Diffusion of Issues Information theory, and exploring how people interact within virtual reality environments.
Professor Mitchell McIvor’s research interests center on education, inequality, and community engagement. His current research projects look at socio-economic and racial inequality within higher education (student debt, feelings of belonging, intergenerational trauma), and the scholarship of teaching and learning (community-service learning, problem-based learning, equity-based coursed designs). His research also includes partnerships with non-profit organizations, including an ongoing project with HOPE Atlanta assessing the efficacy of different interventions for housing insecurity.
Andrew MilesProfessor Andrew Miles focuses particularly on values, identities, and dual-process cognition. He also explores how moral cultures are learned and the effects they have on behaviour and emotions. He (periodically) dabbles in quantitative methods. He is currently finishing up a SSHRC-funded study of moral change among youth and emerging adults and a Connaught-funded study of the emotional consequences of living up to different moral commitments. Other projects include a five year SSHRC-funded study of the cognitive processes undergirding moral behaviour and a study of how prosocial behaviour can address the mental health challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, funded by the Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative.
Professor Melissa Milkie’s research focuses on structural and cultural changes in gender, work and family life over recent decades and how parenting and work-family configurations are linked to mental health and well-being for women and men. Recently, she has examined time allocations of and time pressures on parents; work-family conflicts and health; and cultural contestations of fathering and mothering in media. Current projects include 1) changing values regarding socializing children 2) teens’ vs. parents’ perceptions of time together and 3) parental strains among Syrian refugee mothers. Her research has been supported by SSHRC and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Professor Ann Mullen works in the areas of the sociology of education, culture, and gender.  Her research has focused on access and social stratification within the higher education system, gender segregation of fields of study, and competing cultural narratives about the purpose and value of higher education.  She is also conducting a study to assess the relative value of bachelors’ degrees from three Ontario universities.  Her current project is a qualitative study of the meaning making practices of conceptual artists and art galleries.
Akwasi Owusu-BempahProfessor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah’s research is focused on policing; youth marginalization and exclusion; and race, ethnicity and crime. He is particularly interested in how people of the African Diaspora (African Canadians, African Americans) perceive and experience law enforcement and punishment. His current research examines public perceptions of criminal (in)justice. A second project explores the growth of Black and Indigenous prisoners within Canada’s federal correctional system.
Professor Ito Peng, Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy, conducts internationally comparative research focused on family, gender, and labour market issues in social policy. She is leading a large collaborative study focusing on gender and the international migration of care workers. This SSHRC-funded project brings together over 50 researchers, policymakers, and non-academic partners to bring understanding to the complex issues that are arising as women are increasingly migrating from low and middle-income countries to perform care work in wealthier countries.
Kim PernellProfessor Kim Pernell, Canada Research Chair in Economic Sociology, studies the organizational processes and institutional conditions that facilitate risky, ineffective, and harmful behaviour in financial markets. One current project uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the historical development of systems of banking regulation in Canada, the U.S., and Spain. A second project focuses on the drivers of bank risk-taking, while a third project examines the relationship between changes in banking and finance and rising socioeconomic inequality.
David PettinicchioProfessor David Pettinicchio’s work is at the intersection of social policy, political sociology and socioeconomic inequality. He is developing a book titled “Empowering Government” which investigates the ways in which political entrepreneurship, nonprofit advocacy and grassroots activism shape policy change. Another project examines the impact of policymaking, implementation and judicial interpretation on employment and earnings outcomes among people with disabilities. His current study, funded by SSHRC a Connaught Grant and an Early Researcher Award from the Province of Ontario. It uses audit-based methods to learn the effects of disability employment discrimination on labour market outcomes in Canada.
Professor Zach Richer’s research is in the sociology of culture and politics. He is currently working on two projects on emotional communication in civil society. The first investigates the civic engagement strategies of ethnic community groups aiming to close the gap between the formal rights guaranteed through law and the informal privileges that come from recognition by society’s core groups. The second project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, measures the impact of emotional appeals on decision-making processes and outcomes in political deliberation.
Professor Rania Salem’s research lies at the intersection of the sociology of families, gender studies, and economic sociology. She is currently studying the implications of matrimonial expenditures in Egypt for marriage timing, women’s power within marriage, and secret marriages. She is also collaborating on projects that investigate interactions between rural Egyptian women’s work and intimate partner violence, that explore the relationship between women’s work and agency in Egypt, and that examine kin influences on young Qatari women’s transitions into the labour force. Her research is funded by the World Bank, the Economic Research Forum, and the Qatar National Research Fund.
Professor Mahua Sarkar is a historical sociologist with a diverse research agenda connected by two common threads: a focus on substantive questions around inequality, displacement, and the ways in which humans negotiate large-scale social change; and a consistent engagement with inter-disciplinarity combining broad theoretical debates and multiple methodologies. Her current major writing project–Bidesh Kara (Going Abroad): Bangladeshi Contract Migrants and Contemporary Guest Work–combines a historical and macro-structural analytical framework with ethnographic research among low-resourced Bangladeshi male contract migrants in Singapore, and return migrants (from South-east Asia and the MENA region) in Bangladesh.
Markus SchaferProfessor Markus Schafer studies the impact of early life events and experiences for various elements of health and well-being later in the life course; the role of health in shaping social networks, particularly in later life; and the importance of social networks and social support for mental and physical health and well-being. His research is supported by the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Early Researcher Award program.
Professor Scott Schieman, Canada Research Chair in the Social Contexts and Health, researches the links between social-structural arrangements and the inner lives of individuals. A major line of his research studies the mental health effects of work-related stress and the intersection of family and work life. One main interest focuses on the stress of higher status and its implications for the status-health relationship in the population. His other main research interest examines the interrelationships among personal religiousness, stress, and well-being. His research is supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
Erik SchneiderhanProfessor Erik Schneiderhan is interested in relational dynamics and communication. One branch of his research studies nineteenth-century charity in the United States and Canada, in conjunction with an exploration of pragmatist theory. A second line of research focuses on the power of deliberation in citizen assemblies, especially where individuals of different ethnicities need to come together and jointly make decisions. His research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Professor Tahseen Shams’ research asks how transnational, global forms of inequality intersect with race and ethnicity to affect immigrant groups, particularly those coming from Muslim-majority countries to the West. She has published a book–Here, There, and Elsewhere: The Making of Immigrant Identities in a Globalized World (2020, from Stanford University Press)–and several articles on this topic. Her research has received several awards, including funding from the National Science Foundation and an Honorable  Mention for Best Article Award from the Global and Transnational Sociology section of the ASA. Her current research project examines South Asian Muslim immigrants’ interracial and interfaith  marriages in Canada and the United States.
Professor Yvonne P. Sherwood studies the politics of embodied knowledge, race, and law to understand the re/production of settler colonial discourse and materiality. Her current research project examines these dynamics through a focus on the ways that Indigenous Knowledge is articulated by mainstream environmentalists through liberal ecological reform discourse. Her research and scholarly activism intersect with other substantive areas such as critical and queer Indigenous feminism, abolitionist feminism, critical pedagogy, critical environmental justice, and anti-colonial geographies.
Professor Daniel Silver has research areas in social theory, cities, culture, and cultural policy. His current research examines the role of arts and culture in city politics, economics, and residential patterns; the enduring political orders of cities; the use of diagrams and figures in social theory; the evolution of urban forms; the meaning and reception of Georg Simmel’s ideas; and the definition and evolution of classics and canons in sociological theory.  Silver is also a core participant in The Scenes Project, details about which may be found here, and the Urban Genome Project, details about which can be found here.
Professor Michelle Silver studies how cumulative life experiences influence health, well-being, and adaptation to later life course transitions. Her current work focuses on the relationship between work identity and retirement; perceptions about aging; embodiment, aging and resilience; and health information seeking behaviours. She is also interested in later life gender disparities in life expectancy and pensions.
Professor Chris M. Smith researches crime and inequality, criminal relationships, and criminal organizations to identify how relationships and interactions unequally embed individuals in criminal markets, criminal opportunities, and violence. Her areas of expertise include crime and inequality, feminist criminology, historical research methods, organized crime, police violence, social network analysis, sociology of gender, and urban sociology. She is the author of Syndicate Women: Gender and Networks in Chicago Organized Crime (University of California Press 2019). Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Justice.
Nicholas SpenceProfessor Nicholas Spence’s research centers on social inequality, health services, and policy. He studies a wide range of health and well-being issues, such as obesity, chronic disease, gene-environment interactions, safe water, infectious disease, pandemics, mental health, addictions, economic development, education, and labor markets.
Professor Gail Super’s research focuses on state and non-state punishment, penality, penal policy-making and, collective violence. She currently holds a SSHRC Insight Development Grant which investigates community based crime prevention and punishment in marginalized former black townships in South Africa. The project investigates how the initially lawful activities of community based structures sometimes collapse into unlawful punishment; the disjuncture between community level attitudes towards crime and punishment and liberal penal values, such as the right  to a fair trial and to bail and; how the state – as embodied in police actions and court proceedings – frames incidents of vigilantism.
Professor Judith Taylor studies feminist women’s movements, especially during periods of retrenchment. She is also engaged in a collaborative project with Professor Ronit Dinovitzer and others, that examines political and ethnic identity formation of youth involved in the Israeli Taglit movement.  Her research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Lorne TeppermanProfessor Lorne Tepperman’s research addresses issues related to social inequality, social problems, and health. He is currently engaged in projects on Aboriginal youth gambling and traumatic brain injury associated with falls and motor vehicle accidents — research supported by the Ontario Problem Gambling Centre and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. He is also coauthoring books on social inequality and flow processes.
Professor Jack Veugelers studies social movements, voluntary associations, political parties, inter-generational politics, and relations between state and society in policymaking.  Recent projects explore immigration politics and the social bases of the far right in contemporary France and Italy. His research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Sandy WelshProfessor Sandy Welsh’s primary research examines workplace harassment and violence.  Current research explores how changes in federal and provincial regulations affect the adoption and implementation of workplace harassment and work-family policies in Canadian corporations. Ongoing research collaborations focus on the regulation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine occupations and pharmacists’ professional responsibilities concerning natural health products. Her research has received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, The Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Status of Women Canada and other foundations.
Professor Blair Wheaton studies the social foundations of mental health. He is particularly interested in effects over time, the life course, and neighbourhood contexts. Current projects include a major Toronto survey on neighbourhood and health, a long-term follow up of children interviewed  between 1992-1996 focusing on family and work patterns, and development of a new method for studying the impacts of residential life histories over the entire life course. His research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.
Professor Weiguo Zhang studies social change and family dynamics in China and aging and well-being of Chinese seniors in Canada. His research explores marriage patterns, the welfare of the elderly, the adoption of children, and changing roles of women in Chinese families. His research also investigates the effects of the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and migration status on aging experiences of Chinese Canadians. His research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.