Department of Sociology

Gerald D. Suttles, Pioneering Scholar and Urban Sociologist 1932–2017

Gerald D. Suttles, professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology and the Committee on Geographic Studies, died Thursday, May 11, 2017 at IU Health Bloomington Hospice House with his wife of nearly 47 years, Kirsten A. Grønbjerg, MA’70, PhD’74 (Sociology), and close friends at his side. Widely recognized as a pioneer of the study of disadvantaged neighborhoods, gangs, and ethnic conflict, Suttles helped shape the discipline of urban sociology and mentored a new generation of scholars in the field.


UChicago Urban Research Review profiles prominent social scientists

The Urban Research Review profiles University of Chicago researchers whose work deepens our understanding of cities.  The latest edition of Urban Research Review spotlights three faculty members who have devoted their careers to urban education and marginalized communities.


Margaret Beale-Spencer

Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education, Social Sciences Division

UChicago charts future of ethnographic research

In the early 20th century, the University of Chicago was known as the epicenter of ethnography, a method of study in which researchers immerse themselves in a social setting to observe its inner workings. Many of sociology’s landmark works emerged from such research, positioning ethnography as an essential tool for understanding individuals and communities. A series of projects by faculty members in the UChicago’s Department of Sociology are bringing new attention to the method, putting a...

Study examines public understanding of drug rationing amid AIDS epidemic

In Balaka, Malawi, HIV-AIDS has been an epidemic for so long that young adults have never known any other reality. Anti-retroviral drugs, which keep infected people healthy, are available, but there aren’t enough to treat everyone who needs them. So policymakers in the east African nation must prioritize. Rationing is complicated, and priorities have shifted many times over the years. Young adults in Balaka are often unaware about what the current distribution strategies actually are, despite...