Social welfare and social justice are among the cornerstones on which Sociology as a social science is founded. Reacting to their observations of injustices and inequalities, the early architects of the discipline sought to understand how social order emerges from the social structures, institutions, organizations, processes and discourses of society. Sociologists across time and place have sought to develop and apply social science knowledge for the betterment of society. Their goal was in part to apply their understanding of social facts and put them into action in order to build a more equitable and just society.

The Sociology and Social Welfare Division supports a vision of a just society. We strive to bring the sociological imagination to bear on the study of social problems and issues, globally, nationally, regionally and individually. Our division’s mission is to develop and promote an understanding of and knowledge about the social institutions, structures and processes that create and perpetuate inequality, exclusion and oppression. Our goal is to support the dissemination of research and conversations that assist in the creation and development of public policies, affirmative actions and social services through the application of social science knowledge, perspectives, methods and technology.

Division mission statement was reviewed November 2018 by William Cabin, Temple University, Sociology and Social Welfare Division Chair, 2017-2019. No edits were made. Division mission statement was last edited in November 2016 by Linda Houser, Widener University, Sociology and Social Welfare Division Chair, 2015-2017.

Selected Readings

Alinsky, Saul (1969). Rules for Radicals.  Vintage Press.

Arendt, H. (1958). The Human Condition.  University of Chicago Press.

Becker, Howard S. (1976). Sociological Work: Method and Substance.  Transaction Publishers.

Bellah, R.N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W.M., Swindler, A. and S. M. Tipton (1992). The Good Society.  Random House.

Berger, P.L. and T. Luckmann (1967). The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge.  Anchor Press.

Blau, P. and O.D. Duncan. (1978). The American Occupational Structure.  Free Press.

Blumer, H. (1986). Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method.  University of California Press.

Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice.  Cambridge University Press.

Coleman, James S. (1998). Foundations of Social Theory. Harvard University Press.

Corning, P. (2011).  The Fair Society: And the pursuit of social justice.  University of Chicago Press.

Dahrendorf, R. (1979). Life Chances.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Dolgoff, R. (2008). Understanding Social Welfare: A Search for Social Justice. Allyn & Bacon Publishers.

Durkheim, E. (1982). Rules of Sociological Method. Free Press.

Garfinkle, H. (1991). Studies in Ethnomethodology. Polity Press

Giddens, Anthony (1986). The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration.  University of California Press.

Habermas, J. (1985). The Theory of communicative Action, Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society. Beacon Press.

Hills, J., Le Grand, J. andD. Piachaud. (2002). Understanding Social Exclusion. Oxford University Press.

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1996).  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press.

Lin, Nan (2002). Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences). Cambridge University Press.

Marcuse, H. (1991). One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society.  Beacon Press.

Merton, Robert K. (1968). Social Theory and Social Structure. Free Press.

Mills. C. Wright (2000). The Sociological Imagination.  Oxford University Press.

Parsons, T. (1967). The Structure of Social Action. Free Press.

Piven, F.F. and R.A. Cloward (1979).  Poor People’s Movements: Why they succeed, how they fail.  Random House.

Schram, Sanford (2002). Praxis for the Poor: Piven and Cloward and the Future of Social Science in Social Welfare.   NYU Press.

Wacquant, L. (2008).  Urban Outcasts: A Comparative Sociology of Advanced Marginality.  Polity Press.

Watkins-Hayes, C. (2009). The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entaglements of Race, Class and Policy Reform.  University of Chicago Press.

Weber, Max. (2011). Methodology of Social Sciences. Transaction Publishers.