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About us

The department's research is guided by our four key areas of research: our research clusters. The four interdisciplinary research centres the department contributes to compliments our research clusters and enriches our Sociological understanding of varied topics. The complimentary nature of our centres and research clusters enables the department to conduct and teach world-leading research.

Research Clusters

Gender, Sexuality and Inequalities


Our work on inequaities engages with the sociological imagination in topics that include class, age, ethnicity, embodiment and everyday life practices across a range of international contexts. Our work with the Centre for Women's studies provides an interdisciplinary edge to this research.

Culture, Values and Practises

This research cluster considers how specific cultural forms and values are made and lived in practice. The research spans a range of topics from popular culture and everyday life to cultural institutions and industries, supported by the research centre CURB.

Science, Health and Technology

Committed to open, creative and political thinking, the Science, Health and Technology cluster explores the implications of the scientific and technological transformations that shape our lives. It boasts one of the biggest cohorts of Science and Technology scholars in the UK and is host to the world-leading Science and Technology Studies Unit. 

Language and Social Interaction


The language and social interaction research area specialises in basic and applied conversation analysis, discourse analysis and the study of gesture in interaction. The cluster's longstanding national and international collaborations are strengthened through its work at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication.

Research Centres

Centre for Women's Studies

Founded in 1984, the Centre for Women's Studies at York (CWS) is among the most well-established bases for feminist and gender-oriented teaching and research, both in the UK and internationally.  Physically located in Sociology department, the Centre for Women's Studies is jointly co-hosted with the Department of English and Related Literature.

Centre for URBan Studies (CURB)

Co-hosted with the Politics Department, the Centre for URBan studies (CURB) focuses on ‘majority-urban’ centres (the kinds of urban settlement where most people live) of all sizes to provide a space for discussion, action and research to inform and improve places for people. 

Science and Technology Studies Unit (SATSU)

Situated in the Department of Sociology, SATSU draws together members from across the University of York, to collaborate and develop insights into some of the biggest questions, issues and developments shaping the world today. It's interdisciplinary themes currently include 'Biomodifying lives' and 'Storyworlds of Science'.

Centre for Advanced Studies in Language and Communication



This research centre features members from the Departments of Education, Health Sciences, Language and Linguistic Science, Psychology, Social Policy and Social Work and Sociology. The broad membership of the cluster facilitates a holistic study of communication, interaction and language.