This program includes criminology, the sociology of law, the criminal justice system, and the sociology of deviant behavior. We emphasize strong theoretical and methodological training in our program. Research interests of the faculty include prosecutorial and judicial decision making in felony adjudication, the development of case law in federal sentencing, patterns of suicide, criminological theory, delinquency research, homicide studies, gender and violence, race and crime, and criminal punishment.

Gender and Family

Reflecting recent growth and development in the field, the Iowa program includes changes in marriage and fertility patterns, work and family issues, and cross-cultural family patterns. Current faculty research includes the effects of public and private family support systems, gender and deviance, gender and emotion, gender patterns in interaction, and the role of motherhood in limiting women's labor market success.

Social and Political Organization


Faculty research in this area includes: comparative analyses of stratification systems; race, class, and gender; inequality in educational outcomes; status and power; labor markets; the social welfare state; and the transformation of the American economy. Faculty members in this area are affiliated with the interdisciplinary Iowa Institute for Inequality Studies, which facilitates research on the causes and consequences of social inequality by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, age, family structure, citizenship, and disability.

Complex Organizations

The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to internal organizational structure and processes, social networks, organizational effectiveness, organization-environment relationships, and the sociology of work and occupations. The interests and research of faculty include: promotion and recruitment; organizational commitment; turnover; race, class and gender within organizations; power and influence; interest groups and bargaining; and status attainment within organizations.

Political Sociology

This program emphasizes the study of state structures and political processes. It uses both quantitative and qualitative, comparative-historical methods to focus on the political-economy of the welfare state in advanced capitalist democracies, the state, social movements, and social change in developed and developing societies. The program also emphasizes the study of individual political attitudes and behaviors.

Social Psychology

The program has faculty with research interests in group and interpersonal dynamics, including, social exchange, leadership and diversity, identity, morality, social networks, social influence, and virtual and computer-mediated interaction. A facility operated by the Center for the Study of Group Processes includes three state-of-the-art laboratories: The Social Interaction & Networks (SIN) Laboratory, the Socio-Physiological Instrumentation Technologies (SPIT) Laboratory, and the Virtual Immersive Social Environments (VISE) Laboratory. These facilities, created and supported through internal and external grants, are the site of team projects involving collaborations between social psychology faculty, graduate and undergraduate students within the Department of Sociology and Criminology and from other departments across the University.