The Social Psychology concentration enables graduate students to gain expertise in both classical and cutting edge approaches to understanding the relation between selves and society. Whereas other departmental areas focus on substantive issues (e.g., inequality and social justice, health and aging, demography) the social psychology area focuses on training students to understand and critically evaluate theory and research on micro level (i.e., individual and small group) processes and topics. Core courses offer an in-depth examination of approaches to social psychology—including social interaction and social structure and personality. The goal of these courses is to train students to teach and conduct research using social psychological theories, approaches, and concepts.
Faculty members also offer several courses that apply social psychological perspectives and research to a broad range of substantive issues and topics. For example, courses are offered on the social psychology of aging, sexuality over the life course, gendered embodiment, health and aging, and men and masculinities. Most of the courses are co-listed with other departmental areas. Students majoring in areas other than social psychology who take these substantive courses will gain insight into how social psychologists approach topics within these various areas of sociology.
(For current listings, contact the Chair of the Area Committee.)
SYP 5005 Social Interaction and Inequalities
SYP 5733 Social Psychology of Aging
SYD 5817 Contemporary Theories of Gender
SYA 6933 Gendered Bodies over the Life Course
SYA 6933 Men and Masculinities
SYA 6933 Social Psychology of Health and Illness
SYA 6933 Sexuality over the Life Course
SYA 6933 Social Structure and Personality
Social Psychology Faculty
Anne Barrett (Duke University 1999) is an associate of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. She uses quantitative and qualitative methods to examine issues at the intersection of gender, health, families, and aging and the life course. Her current projects include quantitative studies of social structural antecedents and consequences of subjective conceptions of the life course and a qualitative study examining women's experiences with aging.
Terrence Hill (University of Texas at Austin 2006) studies the social distribution of health and health-relevant behaviors. His work draws from sociology, psychology, and biology to frame health and longevity as expressions of religious involvement, social relationships, neighborhood conditions, and socioeconomic status.
Janice McCabe (Ph.D. Indiana University 2006) studies gender, youth/ adolescence, education, race/ethnicity, sexuality from a social psychological perspective. Her research projects examine practices that disrupt and maintain inequalities in higher education, media representations of gender and children, the relationship between feminist self-identification and attitudes about gender, and the emotional and financial resources found in networks of peers, education officials, and family.
John Reynolds (Ph.D. Ohio State 1997) is director of the Claude Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy. Reynolds’ current research examines various educational trends--including women’s recent gains in higher education relative to men and the dramatic rise in teenagers’ plans to get a four-year or graduate degree--and their implications for educational inequality. He also is studying school reform in Florida.
Doug Schrock (North Carolina State University 2001) examines the reproduction and challenging of inequalities from an interactionist perspective. Much of his work focuses on gender, with a focus on culture and identity, emotion and embodiment, and personal and social change.
John Taylor (Miami University 2000) studies social stress, ethnicity and health, and social psychological factors in health and well-being. His recent work has examined the role of early adolescent self-derogation in problem behaviors in young adulthood. His current projects include a paper that evaluates age contingent effects as an underlying factor in the explanation of the “Cost of Caring” hypothesis, and a study on the significance of physical limitations in the fear of being victim of crime.
Koji Ueno (Vanderbilt University 2004) studies friendships, sexuality, mental health, and life course. His recent research has examined how sexual orientation is associated with friendship patterns and mental health in adolescence and young adulthood.