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Department of Sociology

Sociology in Oxford is concerned with real-world issues with policy relevance, such as social inequality, organised crime, the social basis of political conflict and mobilization, and changes in family relationships and gender roles. Our research is empirical, analytical, and comparative in nature, reaching far beyond British society, to encompass systematic cross-national comparison as well as the detailed study of Asian, European, Latin American and North American societies.
Statistical analysis of large-scale survey data is one of our core strengths. And we are at the forefront in developing new research methods, including the analysis of complex social networks and computer simulation. The Centre for Experimental Social Sciences (at Nuffield College) provides infrastructure for designing and conducting social experiments. Our expertise also encompasses ethnographic studies and archival/historical research. In addition, Oxford sociologists lead the development of analytical sociology which identifies generalizable social mechanisms and elucidates the logic of individual action.

Series associated with Department of Sociology

Department of Sociology Podcasts
Podcasts From The Extra-legal Governance Institute (Exlegi)
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Cees van der Eijk on “Contextualising Research Methods Cees van der Eijk gives a talk for the Sociology seminar series. Cees van der Eijk 04 Jun 2015
2 Chris Zorn on ’Big Data' in the Social Sciences Chris Zorn discusses teaching quantitative methods focussing on (a) integrating contemporary data science approaches into undergraduate instruction, and (b) using "big data" examples to generate and maintain students' interest. Chris Zorn 04 Jun 2015
3 Creative Commons John Fox on R software for teaching quantitative methods to social science students John Fox discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students, especially focusing on the choice of software with a demonstration of R and R Commander. John Fox 28 Jul 2014
4 Robert Johns on SPSS and Stata software for teaching quantitative methods to social science students Robert Johns (Essex University) discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students, focusing on comparing the use of SPSS and Stata. Robert Johns 28 Jul 2014
5 Wendy Olsen on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Wendy Olsen discusses her experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students, especially those in Sociology and Social Policy. Wendy Olsen 28 Jan 2014
6 Robert Andersen on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Robert Andersen discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students, especially those in Sociology and Social Policy. Robert Andersen 28 Jan 2014
7 Creative Commons Sean Carey on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Sean Carey (University of Mannheim, Germany) discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students. Sean Carey 18 Nov 2013
8 Andrew Gelman on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Andrew Gelman (Columbia University, NYC) discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students. Andrew Gelman 18 Nov 2013
9 Intergenerational relationships: Does grandparental childcare pay off? Intergenerational relationships: Does grandparental childcare pay off? Valeria Bordone 21 Oct 2013
10 Creative Commons Andy Field on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Andy Field (University of Sussex) discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students, especially with mixed ability and low motivation students. Andy Field 09 Sep 2013
11 Creative Commons Anti-politics in action: Do European protesters hate formal politics more than the general public? Dr Clare Saunders (University of Exeter) presents her multi-staged surveys on European protests. Clare Saunders 28 Aug 2013
12 Creative Commons The Endtimes of Human Rights Are we coming to an end of the human rights as a social science issue? Talk by Dr Stephen Hopgood (SOAS). Stephen Hopgood 28 Aug 2013
13 Creative Commons Manfred te Grotenhuis on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Manfred te Grotenhuis (Radboud University Nijmegen) discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students, especially with mixed ability and low motivation students. Manfred te Grotenhuis 27 Aug 2013
14 Creative Commons Updating what we know about intergenerational time and money transfers in the U.S. Prof. Bianchi (UCLA) presents a new survey component of American Time Use Data (ATUS) that investigates intergenerational time and money transfers. Suzanne Bianchi 17 May 2013
15 Creative Commons Identifying age, period and cohort effects: Are the new methods really better? Prof. Voas (University of Essex) presents new quantitative methods to analyse secularisation - religiosity. David Voas 17 May 2013
16 Creative Commons Is there 'White Flight?' in England? Why Whites in Homogeneous English Wards Are More Opposed to Immigration Prof. Kaufmann (Birbeck College) investigates whether Whites in homogeneous English neighbourhoods oppose immigration more. Eric Kaufmann 17 May 2013
17 Creative Commons Solving the Mona Lisa Smile, and Other Developments in Micro-empirical sociology Seminar on what micro-sociology could tell us about predicting violence. Randall Collins 15 Apr 2013
18 Creative Commons A cooperative species: Human reciprocity and its evolution (Astor Visiting Lecture) Are humans inherently selfish? Is there really an essential human nature? How do we contend about the selfish gene in this day and age? What do we make of altruism against the selfish gene? With Professor Sam Bowles (Arthur Speigel Research Professor). Sam Bowles 13 Mar 2013
19 Changing Relationships: The Role of Cohabitation A study on how cohabitation affects marriage and re-marriage patterns in the UK. With Dr. Tiziano Nazio (University of Turin). Tiziano Nazio 13 Mar 2013
20 Creative Commons Issue Attention and Demobilization: How Social Movements shape the Policy Agenda when Issues are in Decline Looking at how social movements shape the policy making agenda in the US when the issues the social movements are arguing for are in decline in the main policy making agenda. David Pettinicchio 13 Mar 2013
21 Creative Commons Understanding Conspiracy Theories Sociologically: Anti-Semitic Rhetoric about Dönmes (Converts) in Turkey Research investigating the convert-Jews in Turkey with materials investigating historical accounts, popular conspiracy theory books and interviews with the authors of such books. Turkay Nefes 13 Mar 2013
22 Creative Commons Laura Stoker on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Laura Stoker discusses her experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students. Laura Stoker 11 Feb 2013
23 Creative Commons Income inequality and personality- Are more equal US States more agreeable? How does inequality influence personal agreeableness? Robert de Vries 30 Jan 2013
24 Creative Commons Does Shame Always Go Hand in Hand With Poverty? Answers From an International Comparative Study Is shame an automatic consequence of poverty? Can one be poor without being ashamed of it? A lecture from Professor Robert Walker, University of Oxford. Robert Walker 30 Jan 2013
25 Crimes in (social) Contexts: The Influence of Police Legitimacy on Offending Behaviour How can we understand the influence of police on criminal behaviour? Ben Bradford 30 Jan 2013
26 Alan Agresti on teaching quantitative methods to social science students Alan Agresti discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate social science students. Alan Agresti 24 Dec 2012
27 Creative Commons Paul Kellstedt on teaching quantitative methods to political science students Paul Kellstedt discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate political science students and other social scientists. Paul Kellstedt 03 Dec 2012
28 Creative Commons Negative Intergroup Contact: Causes and Consequences Dr. Eva Jaspers (University of Utrecht) on negative intergroup contact and how it can help us understand persistent ethnic bias. Eva Jaspers 23 Oct 2012
29 Creative Commons The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries Professor Anthony King (University of Exeter) looks at the modern infantry tactics and cohesion, with a perspective on conscripted vs. professional armies. Anthony King 22 Oct 2012
30 Creative Commons Bill Jacoby on teaching quantitative methods to political science students Bill Jacoby discusses his experiences and views of what works well when teaching quantitative methods to undergraduate political science students and other social scientists. William G Jacoby 18 Oct 2012
31 Creative Commons Political Epistemics: The Secret Police, the Opposition, and the End of East German Socialism Sociological analysis of the End of East German Socialism. Andreas Glaeser 07 Jul 2012
32 Creative Commons The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism Prof. Skocpol presents a detailed analysis of the rising Tea Party in the US and how Tea Party followers are different from Democrats. Theda Skocpol 07 Jul 2012
33 Creative Commons Focal points, endogenous processes and exogenous shocks in the autism epidemic Ka Yuet Liu (Columbia University) presents an insightful inquiry into autism epidemic. Ka Yuet Liu 09 Mar 2012
34 Childbearing across partnerships How does childbearing work across various types of partnerships, including but not limited to cohabitation, marriage, re-married couples. Elizabeth Thomson 09 Mar 2012
35 Creative Commons Social mobility, marriage and societal openness in Great Britain, 1949-2006 How can we understand the social mobility patterns through marriage in Great Britain? A historical perspective. Colin Mills 09 Mar 2012
36 Creative Commons Structural and exchange mobility in Britain and the USA: 1870-1970 Historical approach on social mobility in Britain and the US. Mike Hout 20 Feb 2012
37 Determinants and consequences of the recognition of education among immigrants in Germany Irena Kogan (University of Mannheim) discusses the determinants of immigrants' investments in official recognition of their education, and the labour market effects of this recognition in Germany. Irena Kogan 20 Feb 2012
38 Creative Commons Modeling individual-level heterogeneity in racial residential segregation Yu Xie (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) explains how racial residential segregation works and how it is best modelled sociologically. Yu Xie 30 Jan 2012
39 Creative Commons Rethinking Social Capital Dr. Small (University of Chicago) presents his mixed-methods work on child care centers and their roles on social capital building for mothers. Mario Small 06 Dec 2011
40 Creative Commons A new method for determining why length of life is more unequal in some societies than in others Dr Glenn Firebaugh (Penn State University) presents the reasons behind life expectancy in a comparative perspective. Glenn Firebaugh 06 Dec 2011
41 Creative Commons Peer effects, mobility, and innovation: evidence from the superstars of modern art Dr Christiane Hellmanzik (University of Hamburg) describes how mobility and peer effects worked for superstars of modern art in the 19th century. Christiane Hellmanzik 06 Dec 2011
42 Individual notions of distributive justice and relative economic status Luis Miller (University of the Basque Country) presentsaAn experimental sociology study on people's understanding of distributive justice, relative to their economic statuses (unemployed/employed). Luis Miller 10 Nov 2011
43 Ethnic, socioeconomic, linguistic, and political sources of ideational cleavage: history wars in contemporary Estonia. Ted Gerber (University of Wisconsin) presents the ethnic, socio-economic, linguistic and political sources of ideational cleavages in contemporary Estonia between Estonians and the Russian minority. Ted Gerber 10 Nov 2011
44 Creative Commons Regional integration and welfare-state convergence in Europe Professor Beckfield discusses whether the welfare state convergence is really taking place, or it is just regional integration, especially in the European context. Jason Beckfield 08 Jun 2011
45 Crossnational similarity and difference in the changing distribution of household income The author addresses the question how the distribution of household income has been changing in recent decades. Arthur Alderson 30 May 2011
46 Creative Commons The gender revolution: uneven and stalled The author describes sweeping changes in the gender system and offers explanations for why change has been uneven. Paula England 27 May 2011
47 Ethnic stratification in Chinas labor markets- the case of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Ethnic Labour market discrimination in China, with a particular focus on the Uyghur Minority. Xiaogang Wu 27 May 2011
48 Local Dispute Management in Morocco and Its Transnational Environment Bertram Turner, Max Planck Institute, Germany, gives a talk on Local Dispute Management in Morocco and Its Transnational Environment for the Extra-Legal Governance Institute. Bertram Turner 16 Feb 2011
49 The Dynamics of over-the-counter Derivatives Regulation: Bridging the Public-Private Divide Daniel Awrey Faculty of Law University of Oxford, gives a talk on The Dynamics of over-the-counter Derivatives Regulation: Bridging the Public-Private Divide for the Extra-Legal Governance Institute. Daniel Awrey 09 Feb 2011
50 The Effect of Maternal Stress on Birth Outcomes: Exploiting a Natural Experiment Lecture delivered by Florencia Torche, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Affiliate at the Steinhardt School of Education, NYU and Research Affiliate at INSPIRES, NYU School of Medicine. Florencia Torche 20 Aug 2010
51 School Racial Composition and Racial Preferences for Friends among Adolescents Lecture delivered by Jennifer Flashman (University of Oxford). Jennifer Flashman 20 Aug 2010
52 Gendered Divisions of Labour and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality Lecture delivered by Jonathan Gershuny, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. Jonathan Gershuny 20 Aug 2010
53 Public Attitudes to Poverty, Inequality and Welfare: What are the Implications for Social Policy? Lecture delivered by Tim Horton, Research Director and Deputy General Secretary of the Fabian Society, Britain's leading left of centre think tank and political society. Tim Horton 20 Aug 2010
54 Prenatal Health, Educational Attainment and Intergenerational Inequality Lecture delivered by Juho Härkönen, Assistant Professor at the Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI), Stockholm University. Juho Härkönen 20 Aug 2010
55 How Much Does Family Matter? A Cross-Cultural Study of the Impact of Kin on Birth and Death Rates Lecture delivered by Dr Rebecca Sear, Lecturer in Population Studies, London School of Economics. Rebecca Sear 20 Aug 2010
56 Is IQ a "Fundamental Cause" of Health? Cognitive Ability, Gender, and Survival Lecture delivered by Professor Robert M Hauser (University of Wisconsin-Madison). Robert M Hauser 20 Aug 2010
57 Organizing Crime Douglas Rogers, George Mason University gives a talk on A Theory of Organized Crime for the Extra Legal Governance Institute. Douglas Rogers, George Mason University 20 Aug 2010
58 Pirates of Somalia Dr Sarah Percy and Dr Anja Shortland give a talk on Pirates of Somalia for the Extra-Legal Governance Institute. Sarah Percy, Anja Shortland 20 Aug 2010
59 Undertaking Sensitive Research: Ethnographies in the Illegal Sex Industry in post-socialist China Dr Tiantian Zheng, State University of New York, gives a talk on Ethnographies in the Illegal Sex Industry in post-socialist China for the Extra-Legal Governance Institute. Tiantian Zheng 20 Aug 2010
60 Corruption, Inequality and the Rule of Law Prof Eric Uslaner, University of Maryland gives a talk on Corruption, Inequality and the Rule of Law for the Extra-Legal Governance Institute. Eric Uslaner 18 Aug 2010
61 Protection for Sale? War and the Transformation of Regulation on the Congo-Ugandan Border Timothy Raeymakers, University of Ghent gives a talk for the Extra-Legal Governance Institute on War and the Transformation of Regulation on the Congo-Ugandan Border. Timothy Raeymakers 18 Aug 2010