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Inequality: Class, Gender, and Race

A Specialization of NC State's Ph.D. in Sociology Program


Students in the inequality concentration study the structural sources and individual consequences of racism, sexism and economic exploitation. We begin with the recognition that it is along the dimensions of class, gender and ethnicity that inequalities in life chances are most clearly distributed and contested.

This area encourages students to develop a holistic approach to the analysis of inequality, recognizing the complex connections between culture, work, politics and everyday life. Faculty and student research run the gamut of methodological orientations, but tend to share a conceptually rich and social justice oriented approach to the sociological study of inequality. Inequality is currently the largest graduate concentration in the NC State Ph.D. program.

Graduate Courses

  • Social Stratification (SOC 736): This course focuses on the interplay of class, gender and race in the organization and attainment of education, employment, and wealth. Sustained attention is given to processes of human, social, and cultural capital development, discrimination, workplace organization, and spatial inequality.
  • Sociology of Gender (SOC 737): This course focuses on the theories which explain the development, maintenance and changes in gender stratification. We address gender as a social structure, its historical roots, contemporary patterns in both personal and public spheres, and the possibilities for change in feminist directions.
  • Racial and Ethnic Inequality (SOC 738): This class focuses on the nature of racism, discrimination, prejudice, racial conflict, and racial oppression in American society. Special emphasis will be given to the relationship between race and social class. Race is one of the most important organizing principles in our society. Therefore, it is essential that graduate student in sociology be exposed to theories and perspectives that shed light on race, racial inequality in particular. To this end, this class will explore the diverse theoretical perspectives and sociological research on race.
  • Social Psychology of Inequality (SOC 739): This course draws primarily on ethnographic research to examine how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are affected by, and serve to reproduce or challenge, various kinds of inequalities. The premise of the course is that inequalities are created and maintained by the actions of thinking and feeling human beings, and therefore it is impossible to understand the existence or persistence of inequality without taking the actor, interpretation, and interaction into account.


  • Contact Information: 330 1911 Building; (919) 513-0289;
  • Current Research Interests: Social Stratification and Mobility, Work and Organizations, Sociology of Education, Social Demography, Poverty, Spatial Inequality and Rural Sociology, Gender, and Race and Ethnicity
  • Faculty Profile
  • Contact Information: 319 1911 Building; (919) 515-9011;
  • Current Research Interests: Race and Ethnicity, Inequality, Immigration, Collective Action, Political Sociology, Social Movements, Urban and Community
  • Faculty Profile
  • Contact Information: 337 1911 Building; (919) 515-9028;
  • Current Research Interests: Social Inequality, Social Networks, Work and Labor Markets, Life Course
  • Faculty Profile