Pie-chart graphic (illustration, no data). Welcome to the Department of Sociology

The UAB Department of Sociology features a dynamic faculty with specialists in both teaching and research. Most research in the department focuses on medical sociology. In recent years faculty members have published papers in several leading journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, American Journal of Public Health, Social Forces, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science & Medicine, Sociology of Health & Illness, Society and Mental Health, and others.

The leading textbook in medical sociology comes out of the department, as well as other books on the social causes of health and disease, the sociology of mental disorder, and race and sport. Current faculty have served on the editorial boards of the American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Social Currents, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Society and Mental Health.

UAB Sociology also had the leadership role in the production of the five-volume Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society (Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014) that features contributors from around the world. This global project was centered at UAB, with the publisher in England, copyeditors in England and France, production in Hong Kong, and distribution in Singapore.

Research and Teaching

Current research projects include:
  • health disparities among different populations, with a focus on Hispanics (Dr. Baker)
  • debt and mental health (Dr. Drentea)
  • a longitudinal cohort study of Czech women, their offspring, and their families to better understand long-term effects of social factors on health (Dr. Stepanikova)
  • religious organizations’ responses to HIV/AIDS (Dr. Szaflarski)
  • how gender structures social relationships and other statuses that impact health (Dr. Thomeer)
  • effects of maternal alcoholism on children’s social ties and mental health (Dr. Wolfe)

Other faculty members are teaching specialists and include the director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr. Biga) and the director of the Online MA program (Dr. Clark).