Inequality: Class, Gender and Race

A Graduate Area Specialization in NC State‚Äôs 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. 

  • 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.
  • Cynthia Anderson, Assistant Professor, Iowa State University. Research on inequality resulting from textile industry restructuring.
  • Marino Bruce, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin - Madison. Research on masculinity, locality, and crime.
  • Michael Calloway, Assistant Research Professor and Associate Director of the Shepps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Research on interorganizational networks.
  • William Danaher, Assistant Professor, College of Charleston. Research on poverty and migration and the role of folk songs in worker rebellions.
  • Jeff Davis, Assistant Professor, California State University -Long Beach. Research on race and the social psychology of workplace inequality.
  • Beth Davison, Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University. Research on crime, neighborhoods and inequality.
  • Sandra Harding, Dean, School of Management, Queensland (Australia) University of Technology. Research on organizational utopias.
  • Shu Hui Huang, Associate Professor, World College of Journalism and Communication, Taipei, Taiwan. Research on political and social change in Taiwan.
  • Matthew Johnsen, Research Director, R.O.W. Sciences. Research on disabilties and inequality.
  • Jacqueline Johnson, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University. Research on gender and ethnic inequality in job search and job matching.
  • Kristen Myers, Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University. Research on a biracial, women's social movement organization.
  • Karen Parker, Assistant Professor, University of Florida. Research on inequality and homicide.
  • Jammie Price, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina - Wilmington. Research on straight-gay male friendships.
  • Rosemary Ritzman, Social Research Associate II, North Carolina Dept. of Corrections. Institutional research on gender and ethnic discrimination in the corrections system.
  • Vincent Roscigno, Distinguished Professor, Ohio State University. Research on racial Inequality in education and the role of folk songs in workers rebellions.
  • Robert Wendt, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Millikin University. Research on ethnicty, unemployment and displaced workers and the history of slavery in Illinois.


Ph.D., Washington State University, 1980
320 1911 Bldg, (919) 515-9001, email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current research interests: Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, Sociology of the Family and Gender Aging.

Associate Professor
Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2006
330 1911 Bldg, (919) 513-0289, email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

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.

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California-Davis, 2009
319 1911 Bldg, (919) 515-9011, email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current research interests: Race and Ethnicity, Inequality, Immigration, Collective Action, Political Sociology, Social Movements, Urban and Community.

Ph.D., Florida State University, 2004
337 1911 Bldg, (919) 515-9028, email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current research interests: Social Inequality, Social Networks, Work & Labor Markets, Life Course

Ph.D., Washington State University, 1984
329 1911 Bldg, (919) 515-9017, email:  
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current research interests: Inequality, Identity, Life History.

Associate Professor
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg (1986)
334 1911 Bldg, (919) 515-9019, email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, Short Bio, etc.)

Current research interests: Racial inequality, social stratification, social psychology.

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1982
316 1911 Bldg, (919) 515-9020, email:
Faculty Webpage (Vita, short Bio, etc.)

Current research interests: Medical sociology, Social Psychology, Family.