Department of Sociology



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Research and Publications

The Sociology Department at Queen’s University provides an academic research environment with internationally renowned faculty. The research activities of the department receive major external funding and are organized into three broad clusters. 

Research Clusters

Media, Information & SurveillanceMedia, Information & Surveillance: this cluster develops sociologies of the digital including critical studies of the latest media, data, technologies, practices and networks. Social and visual media, ‘smart’ technologies and digital data traces are all current research foci. Researchers draw on and develop related research in feminist, science-and-technology studies and cultural studies. In the past three decades, participants have achieved prominence for pioneering and award winning work on the historical sociology of communications, the critique of the 'information society', digital inequalities, and the rapid rise of digital surveillance. Insights from disciplinary areas such as cultural geography, philosophy and history are vital to the cluster.

Criminology & LawCriminology & Law: award-winning faculty in this cluster are interested in a wide range of questions regarding the nature of crime, law and legal control in Canada. In substantive terms, their work explores issues as diverse as the gendered character of the legal profession, crime and homelessness, patterns of criminal victimization, community and popular understandings of crime, and the mediatization of crime. The research which members of the criminology and law cluster undertake employs a range of methodologies from those which are heavily quantitative to those which reflect more qualitative approaches. Equally varied are the theoretical perspectives which inform their work.

Power, Inequalities & Social JsuticePower, Inequalities and Social Justice:this cluster encompasses research in global inequalities, theories of power, capitalism and social theory, social movements and resistance, race and racialization, anti-racism, the political economy and cultural sociology of development, the cultural and economic dimensions of globalization, post-colonialism and de-colonization, the political economy of climate change, the lived experience of inequalities and social justice movements.

In addition to these clusters, core and cross-appointed faculty undertake research and supervision across the following areas:

Social and Sociological Theory
Economic Sociology
Social Capital
Stratification & Mobility
Consumer Culture and Consumption
Visual Culture
Urban Sociology and Cities
Science & Technology Studies

Feminist Theory
Material Culture
Privacy & Citizenship
Social Movements

Research Centres

Surveillance Studies Centre The Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) at Queen's University conducts high quality research into surveillance of many kinds that is growing rapidly throughout the world. Current research explores camera surveillance, ID systems, biometrics, social media, border and airport controls – key aspects of contemporary monitoring, tracking, management and control. While much research happens on the Queen’s University campus, we also part of a broad network of surveillance research that is both multi-disciplinary and international.