About the Major

Sociology explores patterns of social life and examines how social structures and cultures influence our personalities, families, attitudes, behavior, work, leisure — our very identities. Sociology at Hamilton is a rigorous but creative program in which accomplished professors and engaged students work closely together on a range of topics. Students learn to conduct and assess many types of social research and find ample opportunities for hands-on work, carried out in small classes or over the summer alongside a professor. 

Students Will Learn To:

  • Apply core sociological concepts to explain/interrogate social phenomena
  • Employ one or more sociological methods in hands-on independent research
  • Describe an array of diverse human experiences

A Sampling of Courses

Exploration Adventure

Seminar on the Social Production of Food

Examines the production and consumption of food in contemporary societies from a sociological perspective. We will study how food shapes personal identity and communal life; the organizational and institutional contexts food production from farm to table; the role food plays in popular culture and the rise of alternative food movements. Covers such topics as food, communal identity and family; the culture and practices of "Foodies"; the world of the restaurant kitchen; globalization and changes in farming and food consumption.

Explore these select courses:

An introduction to sociological concepts and methods of analysis through the study of selected aspects of American society. Topics include social class, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, sports, medicine, crime and deviance, and popular culture.

This course will give students an introduction to the sociological study of health and illness. While sociologists have taken the study of medicine seriously since at least the 1950s, health and illness are phenomena whose relationship to human society and experience are long and complex. In order to explore this reality, this class will draw on the empirical work of historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and even fiction writers to explore the personal and social elements of sickness and health.

An intermediate-level course in phenomenological social psychology. Emphasis on the nature of the self, the life world as experienced, the taken-for-granted nature of social life, roles and bad faith, and the routinization of everyday life.

This course is designed for students to examine the myriad ways that race structures American society and influences the experiences and life chances of all of its members. In order to make sense of historical and contemporary racial oppression, we will draw on contemporary theories and empirical research to understand how race, racialization and racism manifest and transform over time.

In this course, students will read sociological texts that examine how race and gender affect people’s experiences with state-based violence and social control. This course examines the racist and sexist externally imposed state policies and practices that disenfranchise marginalized communities through drawing from what sociologist Beth Ritchie refers to as a prison nation. Topics include mass incarceration, sexual violence, deportation and detention centers, and surveillance technology. Along with examining the impact of this state-based violence, we will explore resistance and efforts to transform our penal system through anti-violence movements, prison abolition, reproductive justice, and grassroots organizing particularly within LGBTQ circles and communities of color.

Meet Our Faculty

Matthew Grace

Chair, Associate Professor of Sociology


medical sociology; the sociology of mental health and illness; social networks; aging and the life course

Stephanie Dhuman

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Race/ethnicity, racism, Latinx (im)migration, Puerto Rican diaspora, sexuality, intersectionality

sociology of religion, culture, and collective behavior; and social movements

Jaime Kucinskas

Associate Professor of Sociology


Spirituality, social movements, inequality, sociology of religion, and social change

Janina Selzer

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology


International migration and forced displacement; urban sociology; race & ethnicity; nationalism; gender and intersectionality; research methods

Mahala Stewart

Assistant Professor of Sociology


gender, race, class inequalities; family; education; feminist theory; qualitative methods

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in sociology are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Professor/Sociologist, Florida Atlantic University
  • Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque
  • Director, Digital Media & Advertising, L'Oréal Paris
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Fund for UNICEF
  • Special Education Bilingual Teacher, Bronx Preparatory Charter School
  • Co-Founder/Treasurer, Planting Seeds in Africa
  • Men’s Basketball Coach, Rhode Island College
  • First Assistant Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Dentist, Kids First Pediatric Dentistry

Explore Hamilton Stories

Anusha Karki ’24

Watson Fellow Karki ’24 to Trace Journeys of ‘the Hidden Help’

Sociology major Anusha Karki ’24 was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, and will spend the coming year researching what she has referred to as “the hidden help.” Specifically, she plans to explore migrant domestic labor, community-building, and humanitarianism in the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Cyprus, and Australia.

Niamh McDade-Clay '25

N.Y.S. Division of Human Rights Internship Inspires McDade-Clay ’25

Niamh McDade-Clay ’25 spent the summer as an intern at the New York State Division of Human Rights in its Rochester regional office. She was supported by Summer Internship Funding Committee and the Diversity and Social Justice Project Fund. Here she tells what drew her to this opportunity and how it fits with her future plans.

Research Round-Up / Kudos - illustration of a microscope, a student presenting a poster, books, and a student painting.

Kudos! Recent Student Accomplishments

The 2023-24 academic year wrapped up with the awarding of national fellowships and scholarships, conference presentations, and a Phi Beta Kappa election of 22 seniors.


Department Name

Sociology Department

Contact Name

Matt Grace, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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