Western University SociologyFaculty of Social Science

Research Areas

Population Dynamics and Social Inequality is the focus of the Department of Sociology's research and graduate training. Our productive and internationally recognized faculty conduct their research in this general area, focusing on the following areas of concentration:

Aging and the Life Course

The life course perspective provides a framework for understanding processes of inequality and change both within individuals and across various levels of society. Faculty working in this area study aging over the life course as a social process with attention to the intersections of individual lives, social structures, and social change. Faculty research includes examinations of family ties and aging; work, family and policy; trajectories of socioeconomic status and health from early life through old age; and the extended process of identity formation across the life course.

Core faculty in this area include: Ingrid Connidis, James Côté, Lorraine Davies, Rachel Margolis, Julie McMullin, Kim Shuey, Andrea Willson, and Anna Zajacova

Publications of core faculty members have appeared in: Advances in Life Course Research; Ageing & Society; American Journal of Sociology; Current Sociology; Journal of Health and Social Behavior; Journal of Aging and Health; Journal of Marriage and Family; Research on Aging

Health and Health Inequality

Faculty working in this area use sociological approaches to understand health as a manifestation of broader structures of social inequality. Research includes examinations of cumulative advantage processes as mechanisms of health inequality, social mobility and trajectories of health, inequality in health behaviours and well-being, health professions, work and health, intimate partner violence, and Aboriginal well-being.

Core faculty include: Tracey Adams, Kate Choi, Lorraine Davies, Anders Holm, Rachel Margolis, Kim Shuey, Jerry White, Andrea Willson, and Anna Zajacova

Publications of core faculty members have appeared in: Advances in Life Course Research; American Journal of Sociology; Canadian Journal of Public Health; Canadian Review of Sociology; International Sociology; International Indigenous Policy Journal; Journal of Aging and Health; Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences; Journal of Health and Social Behavior; Social Science & Medicine

Inequality, Power, and Social Regulation

Faculty members in this area explore social inequality along multiple dimensions including class, race, ethnicity and immigration status, sexuality, and gender. They also examine the ways in which social institutions, social processes and social practices (included those related to crime, policing and surveillance) are infused with, and shaped by power. Examples of research in this area include studies of citizenship and identity, education and social inequality, the relationship between economic inequality and political attitudes in cross-national perspective, policing and terrorism studies, and income inequality and crime across nations.

Core faculty include: Tracey Adams, Anton Allahar, Robert Andersen, Dale Ballucci, Jim Côté, Michael Gardiner, Anders Holm, Laura Huey, Wolfgang Lehmann, Julie McMullin, Scott Schaffer, and Jerry White

Publications of core faculty members include five books, numerous edited volumes, and publications in: Canadian Review of Sociology; Canadian Journal of Sociology; Journal of Education and Work; Policing & Society; Social Forces; Social Science Research; Social Science & Medicine; Social Science History; Theory, Culture & Society; Sociological Quarterly; The British Journal of Sociology; The British Journal of Sociology of Education

Social Demography and Migration

This area encompasses faculty with research expertise in various aspects of population dynamics, including family demography, population health, and patterns of crime and violence. One area of particular strength lies in the study of migration, with faculty research in areas such as international migration, policy, and the economic and social integration of children of immigrants.

Core faculty include: Teresa Abada, Robert Andersen, Kate Choi, Michael Haan (Canada Research Chair in Migration and Ethnic Relations), Anders Holm, Rachel Margolis, and Andrea Willson

Publications of core faculty members have appeared in: Canadian Studies in Population; Demography; Demographic Research; Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies; Population and Development Review

Work, Occupations, and Professions

Faculty in this area study inequality in work arrangements within the context of the changing nature of work and the economy. Areas of study include professional work in Canada and the process of professionalization and regulation, gender and work, the interplay between structural factors and individual agency in school-work transitions, job-stress, disability accommodation and precarious employment arrangements, retirement and occupational pensions, and work and aging.

Core faculty include: Tracey Adams, Wolfgang Lehmann, Julie McMullin, and Kim Shuey

Publications of core faculty members include two books as well as publications in: Annual Review of Sociology; Canadian Journal of Sociology; Canadian Review of Sociology; Journal of Canadian Studies; International Sociology; Journal of Education and Work; Social Science History; Work and Occupations; Work, Employment, and Society