public soc

Public sociology is built into the fabric of the UIC sociology department. Not only do we study the world, but we actively engage in using our research-based evidence to increase the quality of life for the residents of Chicago, the state, the nation and the world.  This kind of community engagement, often referred to within the discipline as public sociology, is consistent with UIC’s mission “to create knowledge that transforms our views of the world and, through sharing and application, transforms the world.” 

The sociology department includes faculty who engage in this kind of work through:

  • Formal appointments with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs
  • Leadership in professional organizations that have public engagement as their mission (Council on Contemporary Families)
  • Programming that blends research and public service (e.g., the use of film screenings to bring critical thinking skills and sociological perspectives to young women in detention centers)
  • Developing and participating in programs and briefings for legislators and policymakers
  • Disseminating research expertise and findings to nonprofits, community groups, advocates, local, state and federal government agencies, the criminal justice system, the courts, public housing authorities, etc. 
  • Regular appearances in print, radio, and television (including local, national and international outlets as varied as, WBEZ, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, BBC, and the like). 

And our students get in on the action as well, conducting research that gets picked up by the media, non-profits, and others.  There is also a team of graduate students working with Chicago Public School students who are enrolled in honors sociology courses. Our work in this regard was recognized in a 2013 ranking of the ‘return’ to Public Funding and Presence in the Public Media:  UIC Sociology was ranked 2nd best among sociology departments in this analysis.  This is empirical validation that we have developed one of the best public sociology departments in the country.

AndyProtestersCaught Between Protesters and Israel, Palestinian Security Forces Shift Tactics

Andrew Clarno was quoted in an article in the New York Times about Palestinian security forces: “They are in an impossible situation. They are being squeezed on both sides. They are being told to crack down, and the kids see them as the front line of the occupation.”

RismanGWordWhen Women Call Themselves the G-Word
Dr. Risman was quoted in an article in the Chicago Tribune: “It diminishes and treats beautiful women as though as they aren’t adults. I would imagine that there are women who spend a lot of time being beautiful who would find (being called a girl) a compliment. But it’s a complication for women who are trying to be sensitive to equality.”

LewisGoodSchoolsHow does racial inequality thrive in good schools?
UIC Professor Amanda Lewis joins Justin in-studio to talk about her new book, “Despite the Best Intentions,” which looks at the current state of racial equality in education. The interview was named #2 on Chicago Magazine’s 10 must-read stories this week in Chicago.

BaileyTargetTargeting Black Churches
Dr. Bailey was a guest on the Georgia Public Broadcasting morning show, On Second Thought. The segment focused on the murders at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.



MariaWhiteOutWhite Out: Why Integrating America’s Neighborhoods and Cities is Harder Than We Think
Dr. Krysan was cited for her studies about the relationships among neighborhood desirability, class, and race by drawing from surveys and interviews with whites, blacks, and other groups of people.