Our faculty – and our students – contribute to our understanding of what it means to be human, to live in society, to create and recreate ourselves and our cultures.
We’ve made our mark in studies of medical sociology, family sociology, gender and sexuality, women's labor force participation, nonprofit organizations, and crime, to name just a few.
Our research appears in the top journals of our fields, including the Annual Review of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Criminology, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Gender and Society, Social Forces, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Human Ecology, and the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.
Recent Research News More Department News
Study: Young Adults Have Various Levels of ‘Independence’
New research from an NC State sociologist finds that the concept of being either dependent or independent doesn’t apply to almost half of young adults in the United States. Instead, the study finds that young adults can fall into any of four categories that span the spectrum from full independence to being wholly dependent on parents.
What Drives School Diversity ... or Resegregation?
Sociologist Toby Parcel and political scientist Andy Taylor joined forces to discover why some school districts are able to maintain economic diversity in their schools, while others have become effectively resegregated in recent decades. Their work was funded by the National Science Foundation.
On Fisheries, Society and Sustainability
Environmental sociologist Stefano Longo worries that turning ocean resources -- like fish -- into commodities has led to the depletion of fisheries and the development of environmentally suspect aquaculture. He co-authored "The Tragedy of the Commodity: Oceans, Fisheries, and Aquaculture" to focus attention on turn our attention on our relationship with the oceanic ecological system.
Research Highlights Opposing Narratives to Mountaintop Removal
A new study from an NC State doctoral student highlights how the coal industry is fighting to create a normative culture around mountaintop removal, in light of mounting research and opposition exposing the practice’s negative impact on the environment and workers. The study also gives insight into what grassroots organizations are doing to create a counter narrative.
The Archaeology of Prehistoric Climate Change
In autumn 2015, a crew of 12 undergraduate and graduate students from NC State and eight volunteers from the Archaeological Society of Virginia participated in the excavation of prehistoric campsites in the Roanoke River Valley dating from 10,000 to 13,000 years ago.
Study Highlights Local Voices on Tourism Development in Guatemala
Some cities surrounding Guatemala's Lake Atitlán have greatly benefitted from tourism. Other towns haven’t seen the same rate of development. NC State graduate student Adriana Szabo studied the uneven trend in San Pedro La Laguna, on the shore of Lake Atitlán. Her research raises up the voices of locals who want to change the tourism development model.
Engaged With the World
As a proud part of our great land grant university since its very beginnings, we serve the citizens of the state through our research and engagement, from local communities and schools to government entities to multi-national businesses and industries. Our faculty and students conduct and share our studies and expertise around issues of poverty and inequality, archaeological science, cardiovascular mortality, child abuse, family issues, food environments, obesity, health and physical activity, education, gender-related issues, crime and criminal justice organizations … to mention a few.
Voices Into Action
Voices into Action is a longitudinal research and participatory outreach project that uses research and community partnerships to encourage and support projects and activities to improve access to food as well as places to be active in Harnett, Lee and Wake counties. Over the last five years, our interdisciplinary team has conducted multiple semi-structured interviews, 24-hour food recalls and ethnographic observations with 124 low-income mothers of young children, in order to better understand the complex factors that influence families’ beliefs, decisions and practices related to food. We have also organized asset-mapping workshops and spearheaded community food assessments in each. Based on the results of these activities, we are supporting the development of community-based action groups and funding mini-grants to facilitate policy and environmental changes to improve access to healthy and affordable food.
People First Tourism
People-First Tourism, a collaborative effort between faculty from several of NC State’s colleges, is a web marketplace for anyone who wants a genuine experience with locals who want to share their own personal journey, their unique knowledge and their communities with visitors. People-First Tourism provides real micro-entrepreneurial opportunities for vetted locals to tap into local and global tourist markets. Visitors can learn about, explore and book original experiences such as a farm visit in a rustic corner of North Carolina, a cooking lesson with indigenous women in a Costa Rican village or a fishing tour on the Outer Banks. It leverages IT innovation and the economic force of tourism to inspire a world where people develop deep connections with their hosts, experience genuine local cultures and improve the lives of people they visit. The social venture’s founders have set up a fund at NC State to direct profits toward student scholarships and research on ways tourism can benefit people at the grassroots.