The department of sociology at the University of Houston is a vibrant center of scholarly activity. The department’s 12 full-time research faculty members conduct basic and applied research in traditional areas of the discipline, including demography, education, health, stratification and social psychology. We are also leaders in more recent and innovative areas of study, including the body, food, immigration and visual sociology.
The department’s scholarly productivity can be measured quantitatively, yet appreciated stylistically. Along with publishing in various peer-reviewed outlets, our faculty have served on editorial boards or are officers in professional organizations. Several have even served as presidents of their specialty organizations. Over the past 10 years, University of Houston sociology faculty members have been involved in over $1.8 million in funded research — as principal investigators, senior researchers and consultants.
Stylistically, our work is timely and policy-relevant. Drs. Gary Dworkin and Jon Lorence apply quantitative research methods to study pressing issues in public education, ranging from standardized testing to school reform. Pamela Quiroz, Ph.D also studies the sociology of education, as well as race and inequality, particularly as it relates to children, youth and families. Amanda Baumle, Ph.D. applies her legal as well as sociological insights to questions of mobility and sexual identity.
T. Xavia Karner, Ph.D. is exploring community engagement and networks within the world of professional photography and the social psychological aspects of artistic practice. Scott Savage, Ph.D. similarly studies the social psychological aspects of small groups and their consequences for organizational behavior. Shayne Lee, Ph.D. is a scholar of contemporary American religion and culture whose current work examines sociological approaches to the study of cinema. Samantha Kwan, Ph.D. is also a cultural sociologists, examining meanings about the body, body modification practices and various forms of embodied resistance. Maria Monserud’s research focuses on health and wellbeing, with an emphasis on social determinants, family context and Hispanic aging.
Junior faculty members also engage in various innovative research projects. Sheila Katz, Ph.D. examines women’s experiences in poverty. Kathryn Anderson, Ph.D. focuses her research on understanding the social sources of health disparities in the United States, examining how race/ethnicity and urban neighborhood dynamics affect individual health. And Zelma Oyarvide Tuthill, Ph.D. examines how health inequality is reproduced across intersections of race/ethnicity, nativity, gender identity and sexual orientation.