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Research & Scholarship

The opportunities for student research are diverse, robust, and numerous. In addition to curriculum-based research, you can initiate semester-long independent research projects for credit, and many students take advantage of grant-funded programs for summer research worldwide.

Independent Research

Within the Sociology Department, courses such as Qualitative Research Methods, Survey Research Methods, Quantitative Data Analysis, and our advanced seminars include final projects that enable you to complete independent research. Recently students have explored such topics as transnational transracial adoption, sexual assault policies on campus, and attitudes toward the hook up culture, among many others.

In addition to research-based coursework, our thesis is designed to promote, develop and recognize individual excellence through a semester or more of directed independent research. Recent thesis topics include narratives of respect and responsibility in black men's masculinity, racialized commentary in NCAA and NIT basketball tournaments, and the formation of non-heteronormative solidarity in a nonprofit arts organization.

Research with Professors

Our faculty members have a wide variety of research interests, both within and beyond their course topics, and often collaborate with students on research projects. They involve students in meaningful ways, and as a result students often serve as co-authors on published research papers and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Recent examples of co-authored publications include an article published in 2015 in Gender Issues about gender role attitudes and job preferences in Sweden and a forthcoming article in Journal of Family Issues on men's attitudes toward their wives' employment.

Some current examples of faculty research range from studying multi-ethnic churches to the cultural dynamics of African American life in urban settings to social memories and contemporary educational policies and practices to media and body image to gender and parenting across different societies.

Summer Research

You have multiple options for summer research, many of them paid. The grant-funded Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) allows first-year, sophomore, and junior students to design research projects, engage with faculty mentors for guidance and collaboration, and present and publish their findings. In addition to the many DRI-supported opportunities, a variety of offices on campus offer grants or are affiliated with external grant programs. Recent Kemp projects include celebrity endorsements in nonprofit organizations in NC and NJ. Recent Abernethy projects include health education in public schools and the experiences of gay members of LGBT-affirming churches. Recent Dean Rusk projects include reproductive rights and decision-making processes in Ghana.