Collaboration & Opportunities

Because we are housed in one of the country’s top research universities, our department has multiple major research projects in progress at any one time. Research projects provide opportunities for many graduate students to engage in the practical work of academics and fund their education at the same time.

The Society Pages

The Society Pages (TSP) is an open-access social science project headquartered in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota that brings social science to broader public visibility and influence.

Graduate students are invited to contribute to The Society Pages or volunteer on the student board, working with editors-in-chief Douglas Hartmann and Chris Uggen. To keep up with what’s fresh each week, check out our Weekly Roundups on the Editors’ Desk (or sign up to have them delivered to your inbox).

American Mosaic Project

The American Mosaic Project (AMP), funded by the Edelstein Foundation and the National Science Foundation, is an ongoing project that focuses on culture and prejudice, especially religious prejudice, in contemporary American society. Specifically, this project examines what brings Americans together, what divides us, and the implications of our diversity for our political and civic life.

Graduate students are invited to help continue the American Mosaic Project, and update and develop findings from the original study to help shape scholarship on racial and religious diversity and multiculturalism for a new generation.

Kids Involvement and Diversity Study

Organized youth activities have the potential to even out or exacerbate social inequalities. Existing research that focuses on class differences provides an incomplete picture of how participation is linked to well-being. Professors Doug Hartmann, Ann Meier, and Teresa Toguchi Swartz have designed a mixed methods study, Kids Involvement and Diversity Study (KIDS), to better understand the diverse ways in which youth activities are accessed, understood, and experienced by different racial, ethnic, and class-based communities in the United States. With a team of graduate and undergraduate research assistants, they are mapping the landscape of contemporary youth activities, documenting diverse perceptions of and experiences in them, and identifying barriers to access, mechanisms of social reproduction, and elements of program design with the promise to level inequalities. For more information, contact Teresa Swartz (tswartz@umn.edu).

Reading and Writing Intersectionality

This new group is devoted to the discussion of "intersectionality."  We define intersectional works as ones that examine connections between race and gender, race and the body, race and the family, race and sexualities, and race and other “intersecting” fields.  We'll examine both published texts and our own works in progress. The group is open to sociology graduate students and faculty. We'll plan to meet, socialize, and talk a few times a semester.  If you are interested contact Professor Enid Logan or Professor Teresa Swartz.

Minnesota Population Center Data Infrastructure Projects

The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) is a University-wide interdisciplinary cooperative for demographic research. As a leading developer and disseminator of demographic data, MPC serves some 60,000 demographic researchers worldwide. Graduate and undergraduate students participate in several data infrastructure projects at MPC, including the US Current Population Survey (IPUMS-CPS) project, headed by Professor Rob Warren, and the global IPUMS-Demographic and Health Surveys (IPUMS-DHS) project, overseen by Professor Elizabeth Boyle.

Youth Development Study

The comprehensive Youth Development Study (YDS) enables assessment of adolescent and adult development in social context, intergenerational transmission and social class reproduction. It encompasses a child generation studied over a 23-year period (Generation 2), their parents (Generation 1), and their adolescent children (Generation 3). The YDS presents an excellent opportunity for graduate students to use the data for seminar papers, master's theses, and dissertations (to date, 20 doctoral dissertations have been completed). Contact Professor Jeylan Mortimer to discuss your research interests and the potential for Youth Development Study data to address them.

Teaching Resources Center

Many of our graduate alumni choose to pursue careers in academia and education. We encourage graduate students to develop their teaching skills and provide support through our Teaching Resources Center (TRC).