Political and Economic Sociology

Mission Statement

The Political and Economic Sociology area at Rutgers brings together a wide array of faculty with diverse substantive interests. We are linked, however, by our shared concern with large-scale patterns of social organization, transformation, and inequality. We see political and economic domains and processes as interconnected, and we use a variety of methods—comparative-historical, case-study, qualitative, quantitative, and l network analysis, to name a few—to study them. Our objectives are to train graduate students in these methods, to introduce them to the most important debates and topics of research in our fields, and to mentor them in the pursuit of their own research interests through the department's qualifying paper and dissertation requirements.  We also actively support the department’s Networks, Culture, and Institutions Workshop as a forum for the presentation of faculty and student research in progress.  It is our goal to see our students become colleagues, because we emphasize collegial learning, professional writing, and critical thinking. And our students become professionally visible, because we help them to produce publishable papers and scholarship that is important and interesting.

Current faculty research focuses on a variety of important topics including: migration and immigration (Gerson, Lee, Rodriguez); globalization, and especially critical reappraisals of world systems theory and of representations of ‘others’ in the global political economy (Böröcz, Brooks, Salime); multiple social networks, elites, and political mobilization (McLean); environmental hazards and organizational catastrophes (Cerulo, Clarke, O'Neill, Rudel); and enduring forms of inequality in the United States (Hirschfield, Phillips, Roos, Smith). We also regularly work together across our specific research interest groupings to offer students instruction and direction according to their needs and the unique qualities of their projects.