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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

Jaime Kucinskas

Chair, Associate Professor of Sociology

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

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

Matthew Grace

Assistant Professor of Sociology

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

Kerem Morgül

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology

political sociology, international migration, race and ethnicity, populism, social movements, research methods, cultural theory

Mahala Stewart

Assistant Professor of Sociology

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

Explore Hamilton Stories

collage showing the faces of the 2023 tenured faculty

Ten Faculty Members Awarded Tenure

Ten Hamilton faculty members were approved for tenure by the College’s Board of Trustees at its March meeting. They include Ryan Carter (music), Jose Ceniceros (mathematics), Alexsia Chan (government), Justin Clark (philosophy), Matt Grace (sociology), Tom Helmuth ‘09 (computer science), Natalie Nannas (biology), Colin Quinn (anthropology), Anne Valente (literature and creative writing), and Keelah Williams (psychology).

Shania Kuo ’23

Kuo ’23 Takes on Dual Summer Research Projects at Stanford

The United States is facing an unprecedented housing crisis, the effects of which are devastating to low-income renters. With rising rental costs, residents must choose between their homes and other aspects of their life. This reality speaks to the expanding definition of displacement, an important component of Shania Kuo’s ’23 summer research at Stanford.

Jaime Lee Kucinskas

Kucinskas Presents on Civil Servants' Responses to Trump at ASAs

Associate Professor of Sociology Jaime Kucinskas presented her research on the changing moral landscape of the federal government under the Trump administration and career civil servants' likelihood of speaking up in the face of democratic decline in a session on Advances in Political Sociology at the American Sociological Association meetings in Los Angeles on Aug. 9.

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


Department Name

Sociology Department

Contact Name

Jaime Kucinskas, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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