The department enjoys a high level of collective intellectual activity, hosting more than 10 workshops and study groups where faculty, graduate students, and visitors present current research. Below is information about the graduate workshops and study groups currently offered by faculty in Sociology and affiliated faculty. Students interested in participating in a workshop are encouraged to sign up for the workshop mailing list.

If you would like to receive emails from all of the workshops, you may sign-up for our umbrella mailing list for workshops. With the exception of the Inequality & Social Policy series, this list is subscribed to all of the workshops listed below. You can subscribe to the umbrella mailing list

Contemporary Studies of Race & Ethnicity (SOC 3321)

The Contemporary Studies of Race & Ethnicity (CSRE) workshop's purpose is to provide a forum to disseminate knowledge and facilitate dialogue among graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars working on or interested in research about contemporary studies related to race & ethnicity. Though the Sociology department hosts the workshop, we seek to bring scholars together across disciplines to explore topics such as ethno-racial hierarchies, racial attitudes, and intergroup relations, as well as the role of race in institutions, politics, and everyday life. The workshop will foster both a learning and collaborative space in which participants can circulate and garner feedback on works in progress, including dissertation chapters, proposals, journal article submissions, conference papers, and practice job talks.

Issues of race, class, and politics are at the fore of the national, and arguably, global, consciousness at the moment. It is extremely important to create spaces for thoughtful and nuanced discourse about these topics that lead to substantive interrogations of not only the assumptions and beliefs embedded in the works presented at the CSRE workshop, but also those held by members in attendance.

The workshop is primarily focused on the United States; however, we welcome and encourage comparative work as well as research that explore issues of race and ethnicity in other countries.

Faculty Sponsors Lawrence D. Bobo, Jim Sidanius, Ellis P. Monk, Jr.
Workshop Coordinators Victoria S. Asbury, Nadirah Farah Foley
Mailing List
Email Contact

Victoria S. Asbury, Graduate Student
Nadirah Farah Foley Graduate Student 

Culture and Social Analysis Workshop (SOC 3304)

The Culture and Social Analysis workshop's purpose is to bring together, and facilitate exchange between, faculty, graduate students, and visitors working on a range of topics pertaining to the study of cultural products, forms, and processes. We encourage each participant to circulate a paper in progress and to discuss various aspects of his/her work. We also host a number of outside speakers; local, national, and international. Racial identity, poverty and inequality, collective memory, meaning-making, symbolic boundaries, cultural capital, class culture, disciplinary cultures, scientific and intellectual movements, media studies, popular culture, and cognition are illustrative of the topics that are on our agenda. You can take the workshop for credit, or not. While regular attendance is the norm, visitors are welcome.

Faculty Sponsors Michèle Lamont, Ellis P. Monk, Jr.
Workshop Coordinators Elena Ayala-Hurtado, Maleah Fakete, and Jenna Cook
Mailing List
Email Contact

Elena Ayala-Hurtado, Graduate Student

Economic Sociology Seminar (w/ MIT) (SOC 3308)

Inaugurated at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1997, the Economic Sociology Seminar aims to be the home for cutting-edge economic sociology in the greater Boston social science research community. Since 2003, the seminar has been jointly run by faculty from the Sloan School's Economic Sociology Program and the Harvard Department of Sociology. Meeting at MIT and Harvard in alternating weeks during the academic year, presenters and participants represent a diverse array of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. What we share is a commitment to engage the array of research that has recently come under the heading of economic sociology and thereby to improve upon existing models of organizations, markets, and other key economic institutions.

Faculty Sponsors                         Frank Dobbin, Rakesh Khurana, Roberto Fernandez
Workshop Coordinators TBD

Calendar for MIT Meetings
Mailing List

Email Contact Michael Van Unen, Faculty Assistant

Gender Inequality Workshop (SOC 3328)

The Gender Inequality Workshop features presentations by graduate students and faculty on issues related to gender inequality in the workplace, family, economy, and polity in postindustrial societies.

Faculty Sponsors Mary C. Brinton, Jason Beckfield
Workshop Coordinators                             Allison Daminger

Mailing List Contact Allison Daminger
Email Contact

Ana Inoa, Project Coordinator

History, Culture and Society Workshop (SOC 3317)

The Workshop in History, Culture, and Society provides a forum for the exploration of new developments in historical social science, especially in the fields of Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. The workshop's primary methodological goal is to initiate a discussion of what constitutes acceptable historical evidence in each of the social sciences. Its main substantive goal is to understand how the past influences the present. The workshop is open to students and faculty from all departments across the University as well as from other institutions.

Faculty Sponsors Orlando Patterson, Daniel Smail (History), Ya-Wen Lei
Workshop Coordinators Zach Werhwein
Mailing List
Email Contact Zach Werhwein, Graduate Student

Malcolm Wiener Center Inequality and Social Policy Seminar Series (SOC 3315)

 A seminar series designed to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion of social science research on the causes and consequences of inequality and social policy, broadly defined. The seminar draws leading scholars to campus from the fields of economics, political science, sociology, and public policy to share their work on issues such as wage and labor market inequality, urban poverty and residential segregation, families and children, race and immigration, education, crime and criminal justice policy, political inequalities, and comparative welfare state institutions.

Faculty Sponsors Devah Pager
Mailing List
Email Contact

Migration and Immigrant Incorporation Workshop (SOC 3309)

Members of the Harvard Migration and Immigrant Incorporation workshop share a common interest in international migration and the incorporation of immigrants into host societies. This broad topic includes questions of race and the integration of the second generation (the children of immigrants). While the majority of participants focus on the United States, the workshop includes and is open to researchers studying other immigrant-receiving countries. The primary purpose of the workshop is to circulate works-in-progress in order to elicit feedback and suggestions for improving scholarly work such as dissertation chapters or proposals, journal article submissions, interview schedules and conference papers. The workshop is home to a broad range of interests under the general rubric of immigration studies. It and its email list also serve as a venue to disseminate information about data sources and recent publications of interest to participants.

Faculty Sponsors Mary C. Waters
Workshop Coordinators Eun Se Baik, Ethan Raker
Mailing List
Email Contact

Politics and Social Change (SOC 3316)

We have renamed the Transnational Studies Initiative/Politics and Social Change (PSC) Workshop. It is now the Politics and Social Change Workshop: Exploring the nexus between local, state, national, and transnational actors. This workshop extends and expands upon the work begun by the Conversations Across Borders Workshop.
According to some media sources, the current nationalist tendencies in U.S. and European politics may signal the beginning of the end of globalization. Indeed, the current U.S. administration has overseen crackdowns on international migration, proposals to limit trade, and proposals to slash budgets for humanitarian and development aid to poor countries. But globalization—and the movement of ideas, capital, goods, and people that goes along with it—is unlikely to disappear. Global capitalism is a more powerful force than national politics; by choice or by force, people will continue to interact and move across borders.  
This seminar explores the intersection of politics, society, and development in the current historical moment. Nationalist ideologies have gained power, but the social contract between citizen and state is no longer solely fulfilled within the boundaries of the nation-state. How will these new dynamics unfold, and what will their effects be on institutions and individuals? 

Our workshop explores politics and development from a multi-scalar perspective. Our speakers explore various types of political actors and actions operating at multiple levels and multiple sites; consider the ways in which these complement, subvert, or otherwise intertwine with one another; and ask what that means for the nation as a viable frame for understanding identity, culture, and politics. We meet twice a month, and encourage participants to present works in progress, as well as provide opportunities for collaborative research endeavors. 

The Politics and Social Change workshop promotes the development of a community of scholars interested in how power relations shape social patterns in societies around the world. We define ‘politics’ broadly to include everything from gender politics within the household to state politics within a transnational system. Our participants’ interests span a wide range of topics, including political sociology, political economy, political violence, political behavior, political culture, governance, social movements, civil society, NGOs, protest, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, the media, the environment, and development. During most meetings, group participants take turns discussing their works in progress. Once or twice a semester, we also bring in outside speakers to discuss topics of interest to our members. Open to the public. The seminar is chaired by Jocelyn Viterna, professor of sociology, Harvard University. Meets every other Monday from 3-5 pm.

Faculty Sponsors Jocelyn Viterna, Paul Chang, Ya Wen Lei, Peggy Levitt (Wellesley)
Workshop Coordinator  Matthew Brooke, Cresa Pugh
Mailing List
Email Contact

Matthew Brooke, Graduate Student
Cresa Pugh, Graduate Student

Research Workshop in Applied Statistics (GOV 3009/SOC 3303)

The Applied Statistics Workshop meets all academic year, Wednesdays, noon-1:30pm, in CGIS K354. This workshop is a forum for graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss methodological or empirical work in progress in an interdisciplinary setting. The workshop features a tour of Harvard's statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in different fields and disciplines and includes occasional presentations by invited speakers. Free lunch is provided.

Faculty Sponsors Alberto Abadie, Matthew Lee Blackwell, Finale Doshi-Velez, Gary King, Luke Weisman Miratrix, James M. Robins, Donald B. Rubin, Tyler J. VanderWeele, Christopher Winship, Teppei Yamamoto
Workshop Coordinator Connor Jerzak 
Mailing List
Email Contact Connor Jerzak, Graduate Student
See also: Workshops List

Seminar on Social Exclusion and Inclusion

The Seminar on Social Exclusion and Inclusion at the Center for European Studies invites speakers from both sides of the Atlantic to present research on a broad range of issues pertaining to the dynamics of exclusion and inclusion in Europe. This year, among other topics, we will discuss the relationship between urban space and politics, and look at beauty standards and exclusion in the modeling industry across Europe. The seminar is open to participants from across the university as well as from other institutions. In the Fall, we will meet once a month on Friday, from 2:15 to 4:00 pm.

Faculty Sponsors                                         Michèle Lamont, Kathrin Zippel (Northeastern University), Natasha Warikoo (Harvard GSE)              
Workshop Coordinator Stefan Beljean
Mailing List
Email Contact Stefan Beljean, Graduate Student
See also: Workshops List

Social Demography (SOC 3323)

The Social Demography Seminar at the Center for Population and Development Studies provides a lively forum for scholars to discuss in-progress social scientific research. Social demography includes work that uses demographic methods to describe and explain the distribution of social goods across populations. The Social Demography Seminar thus welcomes informal presentations of work in progress on a wide variety of topics such as family, gender, race/ethnicity, inequality, im/migration, fertility, mortality, and the institutional arrangements that shape and respond to population processes. The long-term goal is to build a broad and multidisciplinary community of social demographers at Harvard.

Faculty Sponsors                                          

Jason Beckfield, Lisa Berkman, Mary C. Brinton,
Alexandra Killewald, Mary C. Waters, Joscha Legewie,
and Xiang Zhou

Workshop Coordinator     Lesley Harkins, Program Assistant, 
Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Mailing List Contact Lesley Harkins at
Email Contact Lesley Harkins

Urban Data Lab (SOC 3313) - (Expected to be offered in 2019-2020)

Professors Robert Sampson and Mario Small are organizing a small lab to support research by students and post-docs examining a subset of topics regarding the urban condition in the 21st century. Students enrolled in the lab must be working on one of the following datasets: the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, the project on Twitter Data and Human Mobility, and the project on Alternative Measures of Resource Access in Poor Neighborhoods. The lab is organized around two themes: big data (fall) and the comparative analysis of urban dynamics in Chicago and LA (spring). Students will meet to discuss readings and present papers to other in the working lab.

Enrollment requires permission of the instructors. Select Thursdays at 4:30 pm. (Expected to be offered in 2019-2020)

Faculty Sponsors   Robert J. Sampson, Mario L. Small
Email Contacts Robert J. Sampson, faculty
Mario L. Small, faculty

Work, Organizations, and Markets Seminar

The long-standing interdisciplinary research workshop on Work, Organizations, and Markets (WOM) brings together faculty and graduate students from several Harvard departments and programs in the social sciences that study organizational phenomena, especially the Sociology Department and the GSAS Joint Program in Organizational Behavior. Its subject matter includes all three levels of analysis of concern in organizational research: individual behavior and interaction in organizational settings; the structure and action of organizations as collectivities; and the characteristics of groups, networks, or populations of organizations. Participants seek both to understand why organizations are as they are, and to understand determinants of organizational effectiveness. The workshop aims to (a) provide a supportive environment for doctoral students to present and get feedback on their work, and (b) build a community of peers whose research covers topics in macro-OB / sociology. It welcomes research at all stages of development, from preliminary research proposals to first-pass data analyses to more polished job talks.

Faculty Sponsors Peter V. Marsden, Ethan Bernstein (HBS)
Workshop Coordinators                   Ahmmad Brown, Yusaku Takeda, and Jon Palmer

Mailing List
Email Contact

Ahmmad Brown, Graduate Student