Research Clusters

Comparative Sociology and Social Change

Research in this cluster examines the causes and consequences of cross-national, cross-cultural variations in social processes.  Comparative scholars at Harvard analyze a wide array of topics...  Read more

Crime and Punishment

The study of crime and punishment has become increasingly central to our understanding of how society works. Crime varies widely across time and place, for example, and is deeply intertwined with multiple forms of social stratification.  Read more

Culture research cluster photo


The interest in studying culture empirically has been growing dramatically within the discipline, and Harvard has emerged as a leading center for cultural sociology... Read more

Economic Sociology and Organizations

The department continues a long history of studying economic and organizational phenomena from a sociological perspective. Research questions range from family decisions to immigrate to organizational strategies for profitability to national choices of welfare policies.   Read more

Education and Society

Education and Society

Schools and colleges are transforming the lives of individual learners and their families. They play a core role in society. At the same time, they are continuously transformed by politics, markets, and scientific, technological, and cultural change. Read more

Gender and Family

Research in this cluster explores the ways in which gender, sexuality, and kinship relations shape individuals’ experiences. We view gender and the family as distinct but often overlapping dimensions of social stratification... Read More

Health and Population

Scholars of the Health and Population cluster study the sociological causes and consequences of  dynamics and differences in aging, migration, fertility, mortality, health, and well-being...Read more


The cluster on inequality brings together work in a variety of fields -- on health, education, incomes, housing, families. organizations and meaning making in the United States and beyond... Read more

Political and Historical Sociology

This cluster explores interdisciplinary scholarship in socio-economic, cultural and political history. The focus is on the nature, dynamics and interacting influences of culture, politics and institutions, explored at all levels of analysis. Read more

Activists signs express support for immigrant community at a rally to protest president Donald Trump's decision to end DACA Downtown Portland, OR, on September 5th, 2017.

Race, Ethnicity and Immigration

This cluster focuses on racial and ethnic stratification in the United States, the changing meaning of race and ethnicity over time, racial and ethnic identity and its measurement and content, and the patterns of immigration and immigrant integration in the U.S. and Western Europe... Read more

Urban Poverty and the City

For the first time in human history, more people today live in cities than in rural areas.  In a  generation, over 70% of the world is expected to be urbanized... Read more