Penn Sociology News

January 26, 2015

Clayton S. Rose, who earned his Ph.D (with distinction) in Sociology from Penn in 2007, has been elected as the 15th President of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, effective July 1, 2015.  Rose is currently a faculty member at the Harvard Business School 

For the complete story visit:

January 23, 2015

Dorothy Roberts has been selected by the American Psychiatric Association to receive the 2015 Solomon Carter Fuller Award.  The APA website states, "Since 1975, the APA has honored Black pioneers providing significant benefit to the quality of life for Black people with the Solomon Carter Fuller Award."

Roberts will receive the honor and give the Solomon Carter Fuller Award Lecture at the APA's annual meeting in Toronto in May 2015.

January 23, 2015

Randall Collins' book (with Immanuel Wallerstein and several others), Does Capitalism Have a Future? was recently published in French, Russian, Finnish, and Korean.  The book had already been translated in Chinese and German

The launch of the French edition, in November 2014, was also discussed in a half-hour interview in French on Radio France.

January 14, 2015

The International Sociological Association will hold the meetings of the Research Committee 28 (RC28) on Social Stratification and Mobility on August 17-19, 2015 at Penn. The conference is being organized by Hyunjoon Park and Herb Smith, with support from Penn Sociology and the Population Studies Center.  The theme is "Demographic Perspectives on Inequality."

For more information on the confernece, and the Call for Papers, please visit the Penn RC28 Official Website.

January 8, 2015

Penn Sociology receives accolades in a USA TODAY College article in a recent ranking from College Factual that lists the top 10 colleges for a Sociology Degree.  Penn ranks #10 on the list.

Full Article and List

January 8, 2015

Guobin Yang was recently interviewed by The Inquiry on BBC Radio to discuss how the Chinese government channels Internet expression as a form of censorship.

Link to Interview (Guobin Yang's segment begins at approximately 15:00)

January 8, 2015

Guobin Yang and Sociology Ph.D student Ran Liu recently published an essay for the Boston Review,  "Hong Kong's Umbrella Generation."  The essay discusses the Umbrellla Movement in Hong Kong, and how it may mark a political awakening of Hong Kong's younger generation.

Full Article

January 6, 2015

Annette Lareau has been quoted in an article in the New Yorker that talks about the significance of low-income parents talking to their children more.

Full Article

January 6, 2015

Jerry A. Jacobs  appeared on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane on Monday, December 22, 2014, as part of a discussion of men's and women's labor force participation. 

Digital Archive of the interview

January 6, 2015

Science Magazine recently published a review of Renee Fox's book, Doctors Without Borders: Humanitarian Quests, Impossible Dreams of Medecins Sans Frontieres.

Full Article

December 12, 2014

Hyunjoon Park and Jere Behrman's article (with Jaesung Choi), "Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Entrance Exams and College Attendance: Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools" was recently listed by Springer as one of the most frequently discussed Demography articles via social media and other online platforms over the past year.

Link to the list and article

December 9, 2014

Tukufu Zuberi was interviewed by O Globo during a Population Studies meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  The interview (in Portuguese) focuses on race relations in America.

Full Interview (in Portuguese)

December 5, 2014

Grace Kao's essay on teaching and learning titled, "Guiding Students from Individual Experiences to Group-Level Patterns: An Example Using Race and Ethnicity," was recently published in the University of Pennsylvania Almanac.

Full Essay

December 4, 2014

Dorothy Roberts was recently featured on Penn's home page in a video profile discussing bringing different perspectives into the classroom.

Link to the Feature Video and Article

November 25, 2014

Camille Charles was interviewed by Fox 29 News to discuss race relations and the fallout from the grand jury announcement in Ferguson regarding the case of the Michael Brown shooting.

Video Interview

November 20, 2014

Ross Koppel recently co-wrote (with Stephen Soumerai) an editorial for the Boston Globe discussing the Affordable Care Act. 

Full Article (PDF)

November 6, 2014

Liu's Corner
Larry Liu, Class of '15
Sociology Major & Online Ambassador

The opinions on this blog are Larry's personal views based on his experiences, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Sociology at Penn.

Why I Study Sociology

Sociology is regarded as the study of society. But the question that some of my friends and family members have asked me is why would anybody be interested in studying society? Let me explain.

When I grew up in Vienna, Austria to an immigrant family, my parents were barely able to speak the national language, and so the employment opportunities that my parents had were fairly limited. Growing up in a working class and immigrant family made me particularly aware of social differences and economic/status inequality.

In 2008, when I turned 17, there were two watershed moments that changed my life’s trajectory. One was that my family decided to migrate to the U.S., which was a new cultural experience. I had to quickly acquire another language, adopt new practices, and I attended a public high school, where tracking and social class separation within the classroom was built into the whole school system.  I became very curious about how coming from different socio-economic backgrounds can determine one’s economic future, and decided that studying and understanding inequality as a social problem would be a worthwhile project.

The second watershed moment that year was the economic and financial crisis, which devastated the livelihoods of so many working-class families (particularly in the U.S., where much of the bank and mortgage-based problems were concentrated). Many people were losing their jobs and forced to settle for a lower standard of living, and that was the moment when I entered the U.S. I had to understand the political economy of rising inequality and reduced job security in labor markets.

After finishing high school and a brief tour in the Austrian military, I returned to the US to study at a community college, given my modest financial circumstances. I became active in the student newspaper, writing columns about economic challenges facing today’s college students pertaining to student debt and a lackluster job market. After receiving my Associates’ Degree in Liberal Arts, I transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, and it became clear to me that I had to study Sociology in order to further understand the problems confronting workers in the 21st century. As a research assistant in the management department, I investigated current human resource practices for firms, including the harsher mechanisms for hiring workers. I have carried out an independent study project and am working on a thesis paper in Sociology, researching the effects of technological innovation on individual workers' job experience and the potential for large-scale displacement.

While doing this research, I have been able to benefit from the excellent input and feedback from the Sociology faculty at Penn. Being in the program, taking the courses, and collaborating with other students and faculty has helped me to synthesize different kinds of data sources and research findings, develop researchable and interesting topics to study, and contribute new ideas and knowledge about society. I can use that knowledge and my research skills after graduation and apply it to graduate studies and academic research in Sociology and labor/employment relations programs, and in the business world as well. 

Society faces complex problems, and the training I've received in the undergraduate Sociology program at Penn has given me an important advantage in trying to grasp these problems, formulate them clearly, and contribute to creative solutions.


You can follow Larry Liu on Twitter: @userlarry91

November 3, 2014

Janice Madden will give the Presidential Lecture, "The Demography of Commuting:  How Population Groups Create and Respond to Cities" at the North American Regional Science annual meetings in Bethesda, Maryland on November 13, 2014.

October 30, 2014

Emilio Parrado was recently interviewed by Penn SAS Frontiers to discuss the demographic relationship between fertility and immigration.

Full Article

October 30, 2014

Sociology Ph.D Student Valerio Bacak was recently interviewed by Penn SAS Frontiers to discuss his research on how imprisonment and crime affects health.

Full Article