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 321)

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. (Expected to be offered in 2017-2018)

Faculty Sponsors Lawrence D. Bobo, Jim Sidanius
Workshop Coordinators Victoria S. Asbury, Mo Torres
Mailing List
Email Contact

Victoria S. Asbury, Graduate Student
Mo Torres, Graduate Student

Culture and Social Analysis Workshop (SOC 304)

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 Sponsor Michèle Lamont, Bart Bonikowski
Workshop Coordinators Derek Robey, Hanna Katz, Elena Ayala-Hurtado
Mailing List
Email Contact TBD

Economic Sociology Seminar (w/ MIT) (SOC 308)

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
Mailing List/ Email Contact Roberto Fernandez, Faculty/Seminar Coordinator

Gender Inequality Workshop (SOC 328)

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.

We meet weekly on Wednesdays, 12:00-1:30 pm.

For general inquiries about the Weatherhead Initiative on Gender Inequality (WIGI), please contact: Sarah Banse, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, E-mail:; Telephone: (617) 495-9006. For questions about the WIGI mailing list, please contact Jessica Barnard:

Faculty Sponsors Mary C. Brinton, Jason Beckfield
Workshop Coordinator Alexandra Mitukiewicz
Mailing List tbd
Email Contact tbd

History, Culture and Society Workshop (SOC 317)

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 Yueran Zhang
Mailing List
Email Contact Yueran Zhang, Graduate Student

Malcolm Wiener Center Inequality and Social Policy Seminar Series (SOC 315)

 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 David Deming
Mailing List
Email Contact

Migration and Immigrant Incorporation Workshop (SOC 309)

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

Mixed Methods Workshop (SOC 319) - (Expected to be offered in 2018-2019)

The graduate workshop on mixed methods is a forum for graduate students and faculty to present their empirical work—qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-methods—and get feedback on the empirical veracity of their claims. Individuals of all methodological persuasions are welcome. We are particularly interested in exploring synergies that can occur across methodological boundaries, either in the context of mixed-methods projects or in the context of collaboration between qualitative and quantitative researchers. (Expected to be offered in 2018-2019)

Faculty Sponsors Mary C. Brinton
Workshop Coordinators TBD
Mailing List

Email Contact tbd

Politics and Social Change (SOC 316)

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, associate professor of sociology, Harvard University.

Faculty Sponsors Jocelyn Viterna, Bart Bonikowski, Ya Wen Lei
Workshop Coordinator  Bo Yun Park
Website TBD
Mailing List TBD
Email Contact Bo Yun Park, Graduate Student

Research Workshop in Applied Statistics (GOV 3009/SOC 303)

A forum for graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss work in progress. Features a tour of Harvard’s statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in different disciplines. Occasional presentations by invited speakers.

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 Pamela Ban
Mailing List
Email Contact Pamela Ban, Graduate Student
See also: Workshops List

Social Demography (SOC 323)

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. Current core faculty are Jason Beckfield, Lisa Berkman, Mary C. Brinton, Filiz Garip, Devah Pager, Alexandra (Sasha) Killewald, and Mary C. Waters. The long-term goal is to build a broad and multidisciplinary community of social demographers at Harvard.

We meet on Thursdays, 12:00-1:30 pm, in the conference room at 9 Bow Street in Cambridge. For additional information, and to be added to the email list for announcements, please contact Laura Price (

Faculty Sponsors Jason Beckfield, Lisa Berkman, Mary C. Brinton, Devah Pager, Alexandra Killewald, and Mary C. Waters
Workshop Coordinator Laura Price, Deputy Director, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Mailing List Contact Laura Price at
Email Contact Laura Price, Deputy Director, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Social Exclusion and Inclusion in Europe (CES Study Group)

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, Jason Beckfield, Hilary Silver (Brown University), Kathrin Zippel (Northeastern University)
Workshop Coordinator TBD
Mailing List
Email Contact TBD
See also: Workshops List

Transnational Studies Initiative

We live in a world on the move. According to the World Bank, one out of every seven people in the world today is an international or internal migrant who moves by choice or because they are forced to flee. These individuals send a lot of money, ideas, and practices back home and sending governments, which now depend upon them, want to make sure these flows keep coming. They offer emigrants incentives to stay connected to their homelands including the expatriate vote, dual citizenship, or absentee representation in the national legislature.

For some, living across borders comes easily. They have the education, skills, and social contacts to take advantage of opportunities anywhere. Many more, who have fewer skills and education, are forced to live transnational lives because they cannot provide for their families in the places where they come from nor in the places where they move. Either way, migrants today move in a world of neoliberal restructuring, precarious jobs, cutbacks in social welfare, and heightened nationalism.

These dynamics challenge basic assumptions about how and where inequality is produced, family life gets lived, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship get fulfilled. They require us to create new kinds of social safety nets and institutions that respond more effectively to people’s mobile lives. They demand that we reframe our understandings of social problems and their solutions. What would we see, for example, when we connect climate change in Calcutta to climate change in California, gang violence in El Salvador to gang violence in Los Angeles, or high infant mortality rates in Mexico with similarly poor indicators in New York City?

This year TSI will be joining forces with the new "Politics and Social Change" (PSC) Workshop hosted by Harvard's Sociology Department. We will broaden our scope to include political sociology, political economy, development organizations/institutions, political organizations/institutions, policy making and social movements. We will ask how the national and the transnational are intertwined and mutually reinforce and/or thwart each other.

Faculty and graduate students from Harvard as well as other Boston-area institutions are invited to present their ongoing research. We will meet twice each month – one meeting will be devoted to workshop presentations and a second meeting will be devoted to public lectures on topics related to our shared interests. Open to the public. The seminar is co-chaired by Jocelyn Viterna, associate professor of sociology, Harvard University, and Peggy Levitt, Chair and Professor of sociology, Wellesley College.

Faculty Sponsors Jocelyn Viterna, Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College)
Workshop Coordinator John C. Arroyo (MIT)
Mailing List
Email Contact John C. Arroyo, Graduate Student
See also: Workshops List

Urban Data Lab (SOC 313)

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.

Faculty SponsorsRobert J. Sampson, Mario L. Small
Workshop CoordinatorsN/A
Mailing ListN/A
Email ContactsRobert J. Sampson, faculty, and Mario L. Small, faculty

Urban Social Processes Workshop (SOC 314) - (Expected to be offered in 2018-2019)

Cities are back, urbanization is rapidly expanding around the world, and new forms of data are presenting unique opportunities for research. Soc 314 is a forum to explore the social mechanisms, processes, and structures that occur in urban settings and the diverse behaviors that are shaped by spatial inequality. The workshop highlights the presentation of graduate student research but also includes discussion sessions on selected readings and work-in-progress by faculty at Harvard and around the country. (Expected to be offered in 2018-2019)

Faculty Sponsors Robert Sampson, Mario Small
Workshop Coordinators tbd
Mailing List
Email Contact tbd

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 Leroy Gonsalves, Daniel Brown, Yusaku Takeda
Mailing List
Email Contact

Leroy Gonsalves, Graduate Student