Faculty Research

Below is a selection of our faculty's recent publications, working papers, and ongoing projects. You can see what else our faculty is up to on their individual Faculty Pages.

"Degrees of Separation: Higher Ed" (With Good Reason radio presentation)

In this interview, Jason Houle addresses such topics as (1) is there really a student loan crisis, (2) is student loan debt distributed equally across various social groups, (3) by how much has average student loan increased, (4) is education a good investment, (5) how does loan repayment compare across social groups, (6) how could society restructure the education system to alleviate the student loan debt situation, (7) is this just a matter of millenials taking more work hours while in college....Listen to the responses here.

"With Good Reason" has won five Gabriel Awards for Best Documentary or Public Affairs Programs and is also the recipient of top honors from the Public Radio News Directors, Radio and Television Digital News Association and the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

Sociology Professor's Book is Praised by the "Times Literary Supplement"

In the May 12, 2017 edition (Politics section) of the "Times Literary Supplement," Anthony Forbes reviews six recently published books which assess the different cultural, political, military, social and economic paths along which Iran and its enemies have travelled to arrive at the current state of affairs.

He says: "Misagh Parsa's brilliantly argued Democracy in Iran posits a new revolutionary future for the country, suggesting that as the gap between ruler and ruled widens, and as the different sides in Iran's political spectrum become ever more entrenched, the prospect--or necessity--of dramatic upheaval becomes ever more real.  As the author concludes, 'The failure of the Islamic Republic to fulfill the revolution's promises, the imposition of social and cultural restrictions, and the denial of political rights and civil liberties has set the stage for contentious politics in Iran.'"

In addtion, Forbes writes: "One of the strongest aspects of Parsa's Democracy in Iran is the dispassionate presentation and analysis of the facts that support....The tone of his work is scholarly and clear...."

Sociology Alum is the Lead Author on a Paper in the ASA Socius Journal

Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, one of the journals of the American Sociological Association, has published this paper by Morgan Matthews '15 and Professor Kathryn Lively: "Making Volunteer-based Democracy 'Work': Gendered Coping Strategies in a Citizen Legislature."  The paper focuses on how state legislators working in a volunteer political institution cope with work and family responsibilities.  Read the full article here.  Morgan initiated the research for this for her Honors Thesis which she completed upon her graduation in 2015.

See the sidebar to access another work by Morgan Matthews that she produced in her senior year on campus, as an independent study project, to guide future writers of Sociology Honors Theses.

"The Sociological Argument for Breaking Up with Bad Friends"

When we talk about break ups, most people think of romantic couples. But friendships are some of the most important relationships in our lives—and just as good friends provide support and give life meaning, toxic friendships can make you physically and mentally ill.  Read the full story here.

"What Google and Twitter Can Tell Us About 2016" (Time)

While social-media posts are publicly expressive, engaging in conversation with other users, data from search engines can signal latent attitudes, according to Joe DiGrazia, a Neukom fellow, based in the Sociology Department whose research focuses on computational methodologies in the social sciences. Instead of answering a question from a pollster, entering a search on a site like Google or Bing is honest and immediate — your search history doesn’t lie.  Read the full story here.

"Study: Student Loans Aren't the Biggest Reason Millenials Don't Buy Homes" (VPR)

Recent work by Professor Jason Houle and University of Wisconsin Social Work Professor Lawrence Berger challenges the prevailing notion that student debt is the primary reason young adults delay buying a home.  Read and listen to the story.

Sociology Professor is One of Ten Chosen to Receive Internal Funding for New Research

Urban Multiethnic Neighborhood Stability and Health
Emily Walton, Arts and Sciences, Sociology

A study to understand the social and structural factors affecting residents’ interracial and interethnic relationships in stable, multiethnic neighborhoods and to understand the factors affecting the ability of individuals from different racial and ethnic backgrounds to come together as a cohesive community.

Read the full story from Dartmouth Now.