Department of Sociology at The University of Akron



Join us for our department’s Fall Lecture Series, where scholars at UA and across the region share innovations in teaching and research. All are welcome to these events, which will be held in Olin 276 from 12-1:30pm.

September 2: Jodi Henderson-Ross

October 7: Adrianne Frech

November 4: Medora Barnes, John Carroll University

December 2: Christopher Dum, Kent State University

Questions or suggestions? Email Dr. Frech at


Olin Hall 247
Akron, OH 44325-1905

Office hours
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4:30 in summer)

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News about our department

Masculine men, women might be more likely to abuse prescription drugs, UA study finds

The Akron Beacon Journal reports on a new study conducted here finding that young men and women who exhibit stereotypical masculine traits might be more at risk of abusing prescription drugs. Full story.

Recent Headlines

  • Collaboration between faculty and former graduate students

    Associate professor Stacey Nofziger and former graduate students Rachel Stein (now at West Virginia University) and Nicole Rosen (now at Penn State Behrend) have collaborated on a study children's and caseworker's reports of physical violence. Click to read more about their study. 

  • Guest Lecture on Zen and Health
    Guest Lecture on Zen and Health

    In May, a Zen monk Van. Dengjue visited us and gave a talk on “Zen and Health”. He encouraged us to be mindful about our body, our action and our emotion to build a positive environment around us individually and collectively. He also emphasized that compassion, or seeing the suffering of others is the way to solve problems and conflicts in our life. 

  • Assistant professor Adrianne Frech's research featured in Harvard Business Review

    Dr. Adrianne Frech and her colleague Sarah Damaske recently had their research on women's work patterns featured in the Harvard Business Review. You can read the article here.

  • Sociology Club Attends NCSA

    IMG_2637Many members of the Sociology Club presented at the North Central Sociology Association annual meeting in Chicago in March!

  • Does it Cost Men to Care?

    UA's Dr. Janette Dill has collaborated with colleagues at the University of Massachusetts and California State University, Fullerton, to examine whether the "glass escalator" helps to raise mens' wages when they work in feminized occupations. Usually feminized occupations - and particularly care work occupations - have lower wages as compared to other occupations, even when accounting for education and skill. However, men typically advance quickly in feminized occupations, which may help to compensate for the overall devaluation of these occupations. 


Each offered 100% online

1. Murder in America; 3850:365-001

Typically, murders are studied on a case-by-case basis, however research shows that homicides can be studied across groups since victimization and offending in the United States varies by gender, race and age. The aim of this course is to study homicide across demographics, place and context. Students will learn just how prevalent murder is in America. We will apply several theoretical perspectives utilized to explain homicide. In addition, we will focus on several different types of homicides based on victim-offender relationship and motive. Students will quickly realize there is a common thread among murders once context is examined.

2. Street Crime; 3850:365-002

This course will explore various sociological aspects of behaviors referred to collectively as "street crime". We will also examine the process of criminalization including the definition, attribution and control of "street crime". We will develop a framework for understanding street crime as a social behavior, including paying particular attention to the neighborhood context of crime. The primary focus of many of our readings will be on understanding the criminal experience and the “lived reality” of social actors involved in or with “street crime”.

3. Love in Action; 3850:365-003 (7 week 2)

Although grounded in sociology, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the topic of love. We seek to understand the lived experiences of individuals and groups in relation to love in its many different forms (romantic, altruistic, religious, etc.). We will learn about love and then attempt to apply this learning by putting love into action.

4. Mental Illness and Crime; 3850:365-004

People often believe that many criminals are “deranged” or “crazy” or that people with mental illnesses are likely to be violent.  This course will examine the myths and realities related to mental illness and crime.  We will cover topics including how mental illness is socially constructed, laws regarding the mentally ill, victimization of the mentally ill, and how the criminal justice system must cope with the special needs of this population.