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Power, History, and Social Change Area

This program focuses on transformation of power, resources, and major societal institutions in comparative and historical perspective. Some of the program’s major emphases include social movements and revolutions and large-scale social transformations signaled by terms such as colonialism/imperialism; class and state formation; development, the rise of capitalism and the modern corporation; and modernity/postmodernity. Cultural, social and political-economic change are all central to the program’s mission and the study of changes in class, race, nationalism, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of power, inequality and identity. The program emphasizes the department’s unusual strength in the study of global transformations, both historical and contemporary. Program faculty includes specialists on Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. The process of change within American society may also be a focus when viewed in a historical and comparative light. No other sociology department in the United States offers this degree and range of geographic and historical coverage. Program faculty use historical, narrative, ethnographic and quantitative methods and data in their work; but all emphasize historical time and comparison, either explicit or implicit. Many program faculty have strong interests in neo-Weberian, feminist, neo-Marxist, post-Marxist, post–structuralist, new institutionalist and other macrosociologial theories. Students wishing to specialize in political sociology, social movements, comparative structure, international political economy, and the sociology of development should enroll in the Power, History and Social Change program.