Recent News

Bushes and trees cover a walkway outside Mary Gates Hall
Robert Crutchfield, an emeritus professor of sociology and co-author of a new study has found that Black youth who have police contact at a young age may be more likely to have more contacts with police later in life. ... Read more
image of Yuan Hsiao standing near a lake with trees and Mt Rainier in the background
After completing his PhD and an MS in statistics this summer, Yuan Hsiao will begin his career as an assistant professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Communication in the Fall of 2021. A deeply sociological thinker, Yuan studies how new technologies like twitter and texts have transformed grassroots efforts at social change, and this has made him a rising star in the exciting... Read more
phone screen with a dating profile on it and a thumb about to swipe left or right
Tinder, Grindr and other dating apps have a reputation for encouraging casual hookups, but a new study suggests app users may be looking for — and finding — love in all the right places after all. Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the UW, is quoted.... Read more
Portrait of Bob Crutchfield
When Robert Crutchfield, who retired as a professor emeritus in 2016 after almost four decades in the Department of Sociology, was invited to join the Board of Commissioners for the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), he couldn’t say no. It was a full-circle moment. “For me, it was pretty special because I grew up in housing projects in Pittsburgh,” he says. “I was honored to be asked and happy to... Read more
Michele Cadigan, sociology graduate student, explains how to create a legal market for cannabis without increasing police budgets. Featured on Vice 
Katherine Beckett portrait against green background
Oregon has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of any drug, and there’s a push in Washington to do the same. But what effect will that really have on arrests, prosecution, and the fight against the War on Drugs? Temper your expectations, says University of Washington sociology and law professor Katherine Beckett.... Read more
police car lights flashing red and blue
Annie McGlynn-Wright, who received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Washington in 2019, explains the results of a new study she worked on exploring the consequences of early interactions between police and Black youth. Robert Crutchfield, a professor emeritus of the UW Sociology department, was also involved in the study. The results of the UW study, which was published in late... Read more
close up of census form
The 2020 census has been subject to court fights, shifting deadlines and pandemic-related process adjustments. Sara Curran, director of the UW Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, explains the developments with this year’s count. Featured on UW News 
In this lecture and follow-up conversation, distinguished teaching awardee and Professor of sociology Alexes Harris shares her research into how people’s interactions with institutions — like the criminal justice system — shape the outcomes of people’s lives. She delves into how those outcomes are different based on a person’s race and ethnicity, gender, income bracket and other identities people... Read more
young woman typing at her laptop near a window
Early in the pandemic, the lives of students and teachers alike were altered in previously unimaginable ways. We went into ‘lockdown,’ courses became remote, and we had to rely on Zoom to meet and hold classes.   Rather than just recycling pre-pandemic material in a new format, several Sociology department instructors went beyond switching to online teaching:  they transformed their courses so... Read more