About Our Department

Sociology at Washington University strives to understand the origins and reproduction of social inequality and apply that knowledge to address issues of pressing public concern. As a new and growing department, we adopt an approach rooted in the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, focused on undertaking rigorous empirical research to identify and suggest solutions to social problems. Our faculty and students engage core questions through diverse cutting-edge methodological approaches, from interview-based and historical analyses to large-scale quantitative experimental designs. Our location in St. Louis provides an ideal vantage to engage the complex interplay of inequity and policy, along with the vibrant social movements that have emerged to address entrenched injustices in the city and region.

Our faculty occupy positions of leadership both in the discipline and within associations and networks at the forefront of social change efforts. We invite you to explore their research programs, the attention their work has garnered in media and policy circles, the many exciting courses that they have to offer, and the focus of our newly-inaugurated graduate program.

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WUSTL Sociology

A Place of Belonging

In just a few years, students have come to think of the sociology department as a home, as their own special place at the university.

Rallying point

In 2015, Washington University re-established the Department of Sociology in Arts & Sciences. Concentrating on the origins and impacts of inequality, faculty and students are investigating some of the nation’s most critical and urgent social challenges.

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WashU Creates Diverse Sociology Department from the Ground Up

This article highlights to rediscovery of Washington University's Sociology. In 2015, Sociologists Adia Wingfield, David Cunningham, and Jake Rosenfeld joined hands to create a department that encouraged diversity and focused on the demographics of the St. Louis area. Over the last 6 years the department has made an impact on WashU's campus, while paving the way for several other universities across the country.

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U.S. banned imports from China’s Xinjiang region. Will Americans object?

Tim Bartley, a Sociology professor at Washington University in St. Louis, was recently featured in The Washington Post. In the article points out that when companies promise concrete action on human rights violations, Americans are less likely to support government intervention. However, this time, there’s a catch. Bartley takes a closer look!

Zakiya T. Luna

WashU Experts: Supreme Court decision will transform American life, politics

Zakiya Luna, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis was featured in The Source. Luna gives insight on inequality and child care, take a closer look!

student testimonial

Getting Lost & Found in Peru

In this video feature, recent graduate Mariel Ehrlich, who double majored in sociology and Latin American studies, talks about her time abroad in Lima, Peru and how studying Spanish has changed her perspective on what it means to be a global citizen.

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Opinion: The 1936 manual that enshrined racism in America's housing

Elizabeth Korver-Glenn is a new Assistant Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis whose research focuses on racial and economic housing inequalities. She is the author of "Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21stCentury Urban America" (Oxford University Press 2021). The views expressed here are her own. Read more opinion on CNN.

Best States for Racial Equality in Education

Adia Harvey Wingfield, a Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis, says it starts with the racial wealth gap, enabling more white parents to live in expensive neighborhoods with schools they believe will be better for their kids.