The Department of Sociology at Florida State University is known for its research on social change and social inequalities, including gender & sexuality, population health & aging, and politics & social policy. We are a department that values collaborative research and efforts to bring research insights to policymakers and the broader public. Our faculty and students use a range of analytic strategies to study social change and social inequalities including ethnography, participant observation, advanced statistical modeling, interviews, and content analysis. We are primarily an article-producing department, though a growing number of our faculty publish research monographs, too.


Abortion Politics, Mass Media, and Social Movements in America(Cambridge, 2015)

Weaving together analyses of archival material, news coverage, and interviews conducted with journalists from mainstream and partisan outlets as well as with activists across the political spectrum, Deana A. Rohlinger reimagines how activists use a variety of mediums, sometimes simultaneously, to agitate for – and against – legal abortion.

See Deana Rohlinger’s website for more information on her research on abortion politics.

Credit to Capabilities (Cambridge, 2014)

Credit to Capabilities

Based on interviews with hundreds of economically and socially vulnerable women from peasant households, this [study of microcredit programs in rural India] highlights the role of the associational mechanism – forming women into groups that are embedded in a vast network and providing the opportunity for face-to-face participation in group meetings – in improving women’s capabilities.

Winner of the 2015 Outstanding Book Award, Sociology of Development Section, American Sociological Association.

Paromita Sanyal’s book is available from Cambridge University Press and Amazon.


“Comprehensive Older Driver Program.” Barrett, Anne and John Reynolds. (Oct 2010-Sept 2017). Funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.

In 2009, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Florida Safe Mobility for Life Program partnered with the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy at FSU to establish a statewide coalition to address the specific needs of Florida’s aging road users. The Safe Mobility for Life Coalition’s mission is to improve the safety, access and mobility of Florida’s aging road users by developing a comprehensive strategic plan to reduce injuries and crashes among this vulnerable population.

Safe Mobility for Life

“Sexual Orientation and Status Attainment.” Ueno, Koji. (Jul 2011–Jun 2012). Funded by National Science Foundation (1060988).

This project examined the relationship between sexual orientation and status attainment using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The following questions were addressed:

  1. Is same-sex experience associated with status attainment among young adults today?
  2. Are the timing of first same-sex experience and its continuity associated with status attainment?
  3. What explains and moderates the attainment differences linked to same-sex experience?

Some of the findings from this project are reported in Ueno’s articles appearing in Social Forces and Work & Occupations.


Dawn Carr

Michael McFarland

Miranda Waggoner


Many of our faculty engage with broader audiences, relating their empirical research to current policy debates on issues such as health care policyquality at the end of lifedevelopment policy, or higher education financing. Here are additional examples of FSU sociologists engaging the public:

“Round-the-clock” workplace cultures

Irene Padavic’s research on round-the-clock work cultures in highly skilled, highly paid professions was featured in the New York Times.

Sociology of Hip Hop Culture

Hip Hop is Life

Lisa Weinberg organized a 2016 community event and workshop showcasing the relevance of Hip Hop for sociology and social change.

Hip Hop Health Events

FSU sociologists are also active in the College’s Policy Pub public awareness and outreach events.