Research Cluster Overview

Animals in Society

As sociologists, we see value in scholarship that goes beyond an anthropocentric understanding of Canadian society, one that includes the non- or other-than-human and pays particular attention to “the question of the animal”. The work of this RC is inclusive, anti-oppressive, and critical in nature. Working from an interdisciplinary perspective, we seek to expand current interpretations of societal structures and institutions, social norms, practices, policies, and relations that involve humans and other beings. The Animals in Society RC recognizes and respects that we are all animals in a shared society.


Applied Sociology

Applied sociology is the use of sociological theory, methods, skills and research in order to resolve particular issues in real-world settings. This cluster is open to academic and non-academic members as well as anyone who is an applied sociologist or is interested in applied sociology. Our membership has quickly grown to over 100 members including researchers from academia, government, and non-profit organizations, independent researchers and consultants, students, and practitioners of sociology.


Canadian Network of Durkheimian Studies/Réseau canadien d’études durkheimienne

The creation of CNDS/RCED was stimulated by longstanding collaborative Durkheimian research in Canada and the desire to institutionalise this activity. The initial objectives of the Network are to: encourage broad-based Durkheimian sociological research (theoretical and empirical); further studies of the history and development of Durkheimian social science; provide a venue for dialogue, exchange and collaboration; share resources for teaching Durkheimian sociology; and coordinate broader research programmes.


Cognitive Sociology

Contemporary research in cognitive science has increasingly turned its attention to the influence that the social environment has on the mind and brain. As a discipline, sociology has done little to reciprocate this turn and examine the neurocognitive dimensions of social life. Two opportunities thus arise for sociologists: first, to inquire how cognitive mechanisms affect the dynamics of social life; and second, to consider how social processes and practices affect cognition.  This research cluster envisions what a program might look like for a sociology that critically explores, incorporates, and contributes to research on cognition. It seeks to foster sociological research that takes up cognition in any dimension, either as supported by or critical of research in the mind and brain sciences.


Comparative and Historical Sociology / Sociologie historique et comparée

The CHSRC welcomes comparative, historical, and comparative-historical researchers.  Scholars within the comparative and historical research traditions have been extremely influential within both sociology and the social sciences more broadly, and this cluster seeks to increase communication and networking among scholars in an effort to build a stronger research community among comparative and historical researchers in Canada.

Le GRSHC accueille des chercheurs en sociologie comparée, en histoire et en histoire comparée.  Les chercheurs qui font partie des traditions de recherche comparative et historique ont exercé une influence considérable en sociologie et en sciences sociales en général, et ce groupe de recherche désire accroître la communication ainsi que le réseautage entre les chercheurs dans le but de bâtir une communauté de recherche plus solide en études comparative et historique au Canada.


Criminology and Law

This research cluster in seeks to promote research and professional activities in the area of criminology, broadly construed. This cluster brings together scholars and professionals in the areas of crime, punishment, law, criminal justice, regulation, and policy. Researchers in sociology, criminology, law, and professionals from Canada and elsewhere will find a platform that promotes dialogue, networking, and the meaningful exchange of research and pedagogy in the field.


Critical Ethnicity and Anti-Black Racism

The Critical Ethnicity and Anti-Racism Research Cluster is a social network inspired by the contributions of pioneering Black sociologists in shaping the discipline of sociology. Today, we continue this tradition by engaging in critical and thoughtful research that is both academic and applied. The cluster provides a site to enhance dialogue among academics, non-academics, activists, communities, organizations, government, and others engaged in sociological research on anti-black racism, social movements, urban sociology, anti-racism, indigeneity, social justice, intersectionality, health, education, and critical ethnicity. Our initial objectives are to encourage: research, theory, projects, professional activities, programmes, and teaching that critically expands the discipline’s conceptual apparatus, and reimagines its transformative potential to bring about social justice for all groups.


Critical Sociology of Families, Work, and Care

This cluster brings together scholars in several closely related areas. We are all working from critical feminist perspectives. Our research and scholarship problematizes conventional understandings of “family” in theory, practices and policies and this expanded view of families and relationships extends to critical research on meanings, practice and policies of work and care. We envisage the cluster as an opportunity to network, share research and teaching information, and a means to highlight members’ research through expanded and coordinated CSA conference sessions. In addition to coordinating CSA conference sessions, we offer a list-serve for members to share information, resources and opportunities.


Economic Sociology

The Economic Sociology and Political Economy Research Cluster looks to connect those working in economic sociology and political economy. Based within the CSA, this cluster aims to provide a platform for researchers working in Canada and beyond to discuss their work on various elements of economic sociology and political economy. Themes addressed within this cluster include: the crisis and resilience of capitalism, contemporary finance, risk, and crisis, recent shifts in economic inequalities and class relations, as well as various aspects of potential and actual moral economies, the emerging digital economy, and the dynamics of global capitalism.


Environmental Sociology

Environmental sociology is concerned with the varied relationships between societies and their environments. Canadian research on environment and society has focused on, but is not limited to: the social dimensions of natural resource use and conflicts, global climate change, environmental health risks, environmental values, environmental movements, gender and the environment, media representations of nature, the social justice implications of the allocation of environmental resources and hazards, and political decision-making related to the environment.  The main role of the Cluster website is to provide information to a varied audience including academics, students, the media, policymakers, and non-governmental organizations.


Feminist Sociology

We provide both a communications hub and meeting places for feminists within sociology to share ideas and research, to discuss common concerns within the discipline and also to converse with feminists across disciplinary lines.


Gender and Sexuality

The Sociology of Gender and Sexuality are among the most significant and exciting fields in contemporary sociological research and thought. The purpose of this research cluster is to promote research, teaching and other professional activities on the organized patterns of gendered social relations and sexuality. Research on gender and sexuality as social facts motivates much of the most exciting scholarship in this area, including studying the ways that these articulate with race and class, and play out across substantive dimensions of social and cultural life.


Indigenous Settler Relations and Decolonization

We seek to connect sociologists, other academics, activists, artists, and others who are engaged in the study of Indigenous-settler relations and/or the struggle for decolonization. In particular, this site provides an opportunity for us to share information, ideas, and resources, and to facilitate planning for Congress each year.


Internet, Technology, and Digital Sociology

This cluster supports all research related to cyberspace and online environments, as well as the implications in face-to-face interactions due to technological interventions. Some topics of interest to this cluster include: digital access and inequality, digitally-mediated communication, how technology influences relationships (e.g., professional, friendship, romantic), online self-expression (e.g., identity, performativity), cyber-bullying and online crime/deviance, the role of technology in teaching and education, methodological challenges and affordances of online data (including big data), and many others.


Political Sociology and Social Movements

The PSSM research cluster was established to connect a diverse group of Canadian scholars examining questions of power, state formation, civil society, and social movements across local, national and international scales.


Race and Ethnicity

The aim of this research cluster is to connect, network and promote dialogue, ideas, research, and action among professional and public sociologists in the field. It provides an opportunity to emphasize all aspects of race, ethnicity, and racisms in a Canadian context with comparison to broader international contextual experiences. While exploring the intersectional attributes of race and ethnicity including class, gender, religion, and immigration status, members of the cluster will consider the social outcomes of racist ideologies and structures.


Relational Sociology

This research cluster is all about networking. We want to offer a network of relational thinkers coming from sociology and other disciplines.  Our goals also include; the encouragement and diffusion of relational sociology in Canada and abroad, sharing of news and related to relational sociology, and compilation of thematic bibliography on relational sociology.


Rural Sociology

Sociologists working in this field study rural communities and their way of life. The purpose of this research cluster is to support and publicize the work of researchers whose interests encompass rural sociology.


Social Networks

This cluster supports and promotes social networks research. We welcome sociologists of all stripes who are conducting methodological, theoretical, or substantive work related to social networks and social capital.


Social Policy and Social Equity

The social policy and social equality research cluster was formed to connect scholars in the fields of social policy, social equality, social welfare and social stratification across Canada and internationally for scholarship excellence.


Social Theory

Social theory is a broad field. To grapple with theoretical questions sociologists may draw on cultural theory, anthropology, psychology, politics, economics, philosophy, mathematics, or even the natural sciences. Theoretical work may interrogate how specific theories can be applied to empirical research; construct, critique, or revise interpretive accounts or structural models of particular social phenomena; wrestle with meta-theoretical questions in ontology and epistemology; or do all of these at once. This research cluster aims to bring together sociologists who identify as theorists, whose work engages with theoretical questions, or who simply care passionately about the future of social theory in Canada.


Sociology of Children and Youth

Our aim is to foster, and encourage dialogue between, Canadian scholars interested in the sociology of children, childhood and youth, with a particular focus on scholarship prioritizing the experiences and perspectives of young people within broader social structures and inequalities.


Sociology of Culture

The research cluster will provide an institutional base within the CSA for this growing area of research, help co-ordinate Sociology of Culture panels at the annual conference of the CSA, and reach out to scholars working in related fields and disciplines. We have established a website and mailing list to connect cultural sociologists in Canada and abroad, and to aid in the dissemination of research within the scholarly community.


Sociology of Development

The cluster organizes a regular set of panels on the sociology of development at the CSA meetings, maintains a listserv, and liaises with other groups working on development issues and research.


Sociology of Disability

The purpose of the Sociology of Disability Research cluster is to connect Canadians working in this area. Our goal is to build and strengthen partnerships and to share information. 


Sociology of Education

Sociology of education covers a wide methodological, theoretical and conceptual terrain. While research in this area is most associated with examinations of schools, inequality, policy and economic development, this scholarship intersects with a variety of research including studies of early child development, parenting, childhood and adolescence, and health. This research cluster will serve to enhance dialogue and networking among sociologists of education in Canada.


Sociology of Health

The SHRC is an association of researchers, professors and students who are interested in pursuing research and knowledge in the field of health sociology.


Sociology of Mental Health

The objective of the Canadian Sociological Association Mental Health cluster is to underscore the importance of research within the sub-discipline of mental health. The cluster will advance knowledge, pedagogy, and practice of Sociology of Mental Health on a global level by encouraging rigorous theoretical and methodological approaches to research in the area.


Sociology of Science, Technology, and Knowledge

To connect researchers working in the areas of sociology of science, technology, and knowledge.


Sociology of Sport

Sport and exercise have an important and formative role in society. The Sociology of Sport Research Cluster aims to connect scholars from Canada and abroad who work or have interest in sport and exercise research. The Research Cluster provides a platform in which we can expand the opportunities for sociological research, teaching, and learning in compliance with the highest ethical and academic standards. The Research Clusters’ main goals are to promote sociological aspects of sport and exercise research, to foster a sense of community and information sharing among scholars, and to actively engage in knowledge translation with the public.


Teaching and Learning

Teaching is a core scholarly activity for faculty, graduate students, and other professional sociologists yet there are few venues where concerned teachers can meet, practice, and learn from each other. The goal of this group is to exchange teaching-related information and resources, seek advice, facilitate communication between teaching enthusiasts across various institutions, and provide a point of contact between meetings. Furthermore, we seek to promote the value of teaching (including the supervision and mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students).


Urban Sociology

This cluster provides a platform for Canadian researchers working in the domain of urban sociology. We welcome sociologists whose work seeks to understand human interactions and institutions in urban areas both in Canada and globally. This includes research on topics that explore the various and interrelated dimensions of cultural, economic and social life in cities such as housing inequality, gentrification, race, gender and sexuality in the city, the changing nature of work in the sharing economy, and relationship between urban design and sociability. Embracing a variety of empirical, theoretical and methodological perspectives this new cluster will provide a space for both long-standing and emerging debates on the role of cities and urbanization in Canadian society.


Violence and Society

Many argue that we live in a violent society. Indeed, people from all walks of life are subject to many forms of violence. We are bombarded daily with information and images that continually remind us about the potential threat of violence in our lives. Not surprisingly, then, violence continues to be a prominent individual, social, legal and political concern. It is recognized that violence is the result of the complex interplay of many factors and, as such, no one factor will adequately explain, for example, why some individuals behave violently toward others or why violence may be more prevalent in some communities or countries? In particular, understanding and explaining violence is an important part of sociology – both on its own and because it emerges in the study of many other social phenomena including social change, interpersonal relations, law and governance, just to name a few. This cluster continues to build a community of academics and researchers who examine various issues related to the sociological examination of violence.


Visual Sociology and Methodology

Visual Sociology is a diverse field of study which gathers sociologists and other interdisciplinary researchers involved in visual studies and studies of the visual. As a relatively new discipline and with varying methodologies within sociology, Visual Sociology attracts growing numbers of scholars and students who are using visual approaches to their research, employing innovative visual methods, artistic & unconventional research and/or interested in the production, use and dissemination of visual knowledge. The overall goal of the research cluster in Visual Sociology and Methodologies is to bridge discussions on theoretical and practical aspects of the creation and analysis of visual data. The cluster provides the opportunity to share, exchange and develop ideas which are relevant to Visual Sociology locally, across Canada and worldwide.


Work, Professions, and Occupations

The cluster is intended to provide a community for scholars working in this field. We organize several sessions at the annual conference and connect over 30 academics whose research falls into this broad area.