Department of Sociology

Past Features

The Other Side of Austin, Texas

This collective work seeks to bring these experiences to light so that they can be the subject of public debate. These vignettes highlight the subjective experience of socially and politically produced suffering that ethnographer Javier Auyero and his students inspect in Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City.

Criminal Just At The Crossroads: Transforming Crime and Punishment

Over the past forty years, the criminal justice system in the United States has engaged in a very expensive policy failure, attempting to punish its way to public safety, with dismal results. 

Waiting for José: The Minutemen's Pursuit of America

They live in the suburbs of Tennessee and Indiana. They fought in Vietnam and Desert Storm. They speak about an older, better America, an America that once was, and is no more. And for the past decade, they have come to the US/Mexico border to hunt for illegal immigrants. Who are the Minutemen? Patriots? Racists? Vigilantes?

LatinosAgingWorld-thumb-featureLatinos in an Aging World: Social, Psychological, and Economic Perspectives

In 2010 during a speech in Potsdam, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the audience that the nation’s attempt to create a multicultural society had been an utter failure.  During his failed 2012 reelection campaign President Nicholas Sarkozy of France proclaimed that France had too many immigrants.  Recently, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain pledged to restrict the use of social services by immigrants.  These are only three examples of the growing rejection of foreigners and the threat to national cultures and identities that they represent  that is a growing part of political discourse in Europe.


Feature Thumbnail: Coming of Political AgeComing of Political Age: American Schools and the Civic Development of Immigrant Youth

As one of the fastest-growing segments of the American population, the children of immigrants are poised to reshape the country’s political future. The massive rallies for immigration rights in 2006 and the recent push for the DREAM Act, both heavily supported by immigrant youth, signal the growing political potential of this crucial group. While many studies have explored the political participation of immigrant adults, we know comparatively little about what influences civic participation among the children of immigrants.


Envisioning Real UtopiasEnvisioning Real Utopias

Last month, more than 80 students, alumni, and professors from theDepartment of Sociologyand Population Research Center showcased their research at the annual American Sociological Association (ASA), one of the largest and most important professional gatherings in the field of sociology.


Feature Thumbnail: Signature CourseSignature Course Class Gives Away $100,000

What would you do if you were handed $100,000 to give to charity? Where would you start? How would you research which organizations were most deserving or would use the money in the best way?

Feature Thumbnail: Community LostCommunity Lost: The State, Civil Society, and Displaced Survivors of Hurricane Katrina

Neither government programs nor massive charitable efforts responded adequately to the human crisis that was Hurricane Katrina. In this study, the authors use extensive interviews with Katrina evacuees and reports from service providers to identify what helped or hindered the reestablishment of the lives of hurricane survivors who relocated to Austin, Texas.


Feature Thumbnail: Religion and Aids in AfricaOxford University Press Publishes Religion and AIDS in Africa

Religion and AIDS in Africa, by Jenny Trinitapoli, Assistant Professor at Penn State and UT Sociology alum, andAlexander Weinreb, Associate Professor of Sociology and PRC Faculty Research Associate, was published by Oxford University Press.


Feature Thumbnail: Patrimonial Power in the Modern WorldPatrimonial Power in the Modern World

On January 14, 2011, thousands of protesters gathered in the Avenue Bourguiba, the main artery of Tunisia's capital city, Tunis, to demand the ouster of an authoritarian president who had been in power for 23 years. Similar demonstrations swept across Tunisia, with many galvanizing small towns throughout the country. Following Tunisia, protesters marched in the streets of Jordan, Algeria, and Yemen.


The Obamas and the New Politics of RaceThe Obamas and The New Politics of Race

With the 2012 US presidential election campaign in full swing, the meaning and significance of Barack Obama and his presidency are once again in the spotlight. Has the election of Barack Obama served as the watershed moment for American politics and race relations that many predicted?


Javier Auyero examines the Politics of Waiting in ArgentinaJavier Auyero examines the Politics of Waiting in Argentina

Patients of the State is a sociological account of the extended waiting that poor people seeking state social and administrative services must endure. It is based on ethnographic research in the waiting area of the main welfare office in Buenos Aires, in the line leading into the Argentine registration office where legal aliens apply for identification cards, and among people who live in a polluted shantytown on the capital's outskirts, while waiting to be allocated better housing.


crosnoe feature thumbnailFrom Pre-K to Graduation Day

Eighteen years ago, the federal government enlisted leading researchers to study the effects of childcare on early development. What the researchers couldn’t have anticipated was that this monumental research would still be going on today.


What Makes People Give? 

During the "season of giving," calls for donations are as plentiful as candy canes and eggnog. From bell-ringing Santas to toy donation drives, generous Americans make it the most wonderful time of the year for many charities.
What motivates this outpouring of good will? 


Dr. Sheldon Ekland-Olson: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides?: Abortion, Neonatal Care, Assisted Dying, and Capital Punishment

Issues of life and death such as abortion, assisted suicide, capital punishment and others are among the most contentious in many societies. Whose rights are protected?


Leeds thumbnailLonghorns in Leeds 

During the summer Dr. Ben Carrington takes a dozen or so students to Leeds, England, for a study-abroad course to learn about English identity through the prism of sports. This course, called “Sport and English Society,” is organized by the Study Abroad Office at UT Austin and runs from the end of May through June.


150_soc_carrington_featureRace, Sport and Politics

This is the first book-length study that addresses sport's role in “the making of race”, the place of sport within black diasporic struggles for freedom and equality, and the contested location of sport in relation to the politics of recognition within contemporary western multicultural societies.


AUYERO book feature thumbnailNew book by Dr Javier Auyero and Debora Alejandra Swistun

Surrounded by one of the largest petrochemical compounds in Argentina, a highly polluted river that brings the toxic waste of tanneries and other industries, a hazardous and largely unsupervised waste incinerator, and an unmonitored landfill, Flammable's soil, air, and water are contaminated with lead, chromium, benzene, and other chemicals. So are its nearly five thousand sickened and frail inhabitants. How do poor people make sense of and cope with toxic pollution?


thumbnail artWelcome to the Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest and most highly ranked sociology departments in the country.


  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086
    512-232-6300