You are here: Home / People / Research Clusters / Social Transformations

Social Transformations

How do social changes, large and small, occur? Social institutions and organizational and cultural structures often seem durable to the point of inertia, yet change can happen both gradually and quickly. Classic sociological interests in social transformation tended to focus on “big” changes – state crises, revolutions, colonialism, and long-term economic development. These interests continue today. However, the historical and comparative methodologies once reserved for the study of major transformations are increasingly deployed today in the study of a much wider variety of social fields, their institutional patterns, and lifeworldly practices – from political shifts, social movements, and economic change to organizational and interorganizational network structures, social fields and their dynamics and interactions, and shifts in patterns of action and culture.

The substantive topics of research on social transformations include diverse topics, for example, state formations, bureaucracy, crime and deviance, migration, violence, politics, law, medicine, systems of beliefs and values, racial relations, and identities. Yet researchers interested in these diverse topics share a conviction that the comparative and historical study of institutions and social fields, in relation to culture and practice, can yield new discoveries about the shared dynamics that drive change in different arenas.

Cluster Related Graduate Courses

Sociology 225: Sociology of Culture

Sociology 242a and 242b: Research Methods in Historical and Comparative Sociology

Sociology 215: Economy, Polity and Society.

Sociology 248: Social Movements

Sociology 254: Sociology of Health Care

Sociology 295 Topics Courses:

Categories, Boundaries, and Identities

Nations and Nationalism

The Political Economy of Neoliberalism

The Welfare State

People specializing in this area

Carroll, Patrick
  • Associate Professor
2272 SS&H
Halfmann, Drew
  • Associate Professor
2270 SS&H
Spring 2017: T 10-11am, and by appointment
Hibel, Jacob
  • Associate Professor
2240 SS&H
Spring 2017: Mon. 10:00-12:00
  • Lo, Ming-Cheng
    • Professor
    2269 SS&H
    Spring 2017: Thursdays 2:10-4pm
  • Mudge, Stephanie
    • Assistant Professor
    2257 SS&H (Entrance off of A St., 2nd floor)
    Spring 2017: W 2:00-4:00 (pls note: it is best to check ahead with me if you are going to come by office hours, so that I can let you know if there is a good time slot to come.)
    Shu, Xiaoling
    • Professor,Graduate Director and Vice Chair
    • 教授,副系主任,研究生主任
    2274 Social Sciences & Humanities
    Not teaching in Spring 2017. Hours: Mon 10-12pm
  • U, Eddy
    • Associate Professor
    2248 SS&H
    On Sabbatical through Winter 2018
    Wolf, Diane
    • Professor
    • Director, Jewish Studies Program
    2267 SS&H
    Spring 2017. T/R 10:30-11:30am
    Halpin, Brian
    • Lecturer
    256 SS&H
    M: 12:30-2:30 or by appointment
  • Graduate Students
    Feldman, Valerie
    • PhD Candidate
    254 SS&H
    By appointment only
    Haraway, Sam
    • PhD Candidate
    258 SS&H
    Thursdays 12pm-2pm, and by appointment.
    Hayes, Joshua
    • Graduate Student, Lecturer
    259 SS&H
    I do not have office hours this quarter. Please contact me via email.
    Jeffrey, Phyllis
    • PhD Candidate
    254 SS&H
    Monday 6:15-7:15pm Wednesday 10:30-11:30am
    Kutzleb, Jennifer
    • PhD Candidate
    282 SS&H
    by appointment
    Menard, Nathen
    261 SSH
    Miller, Amara
    • Graduate Student
    254 SS&H
    Tuesdays 12 - 2 pm in 254 SS&H
  • Wright, Duane
    294 SS&H
    None for summer
    Hall, John
    • Research Professor
    By appointment via email.
  • Research Professors
    Hall, John
    • Research Professor
    By appointment via email.
  • Sociology

    1283 Social Sciences & 
    University of California, 
    One Shields Avenue 
    Davis, CA 95616

    (530) 752-0782 phone
    (530) 752-0783 fax

    Map and Additional Contact Information

    Make a Gift

    Giving matters at UC Davis. For more than a century, donors have been helping the university address the issues that matter most to California, the nation and the world.  The Department of Sociology is dedicated to achieving excellence. Your gift can help.

    Make a gift