Welcome to Sociology and Legal Studies

Sociology and Legal Studies at the University of Waterloo is a stimulating and expanding department, and consists of sociologists and socio-legal scholars engaging in innovative teaching styles and research programs.

Sociology is the study of social life and the social, economic, and political dynamics and dimensions of social relations and social change.

Legal studies is the study of law which is central to everything we do - how we carry on business, how we treat the environment, how we shape our governments and how we deal with other people.

This web site gives an overview of the teaching and research in sociology and legal studies at the University of Waterloo.

  1. June 14, 2017Assistant Professor Jennifer Whitson awarded $59,000 SSHRC Insight Development Grant

    The Department of Sociology and Legal Studies would like to congratulate Jennifer Whitson for her success in the latest SSHRC competition.

  2. Apr. 13, 2017Dr. John McLevey awarded $282,672. SSHRC Insight Grant

    Dr. John McLevey (co-investigator) has been awarded a new SSHRC Insight Grant for the project "Making sense of climate action: Understanding social mobilization to curb anthropogenic climate change through advances in social network analysis" in the amount of $282,672.

  3. Apr. 6, 2017Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme and team awarded $167,000.00 SSHRC IG 2017

    Assistant Professor Sarah Wilkins-Laflamme, along with team members Paul Bramadat, University of Victoria (PI); Lynne Marks, University of Victoria (Co-R); Michael Wilkinson, Trinity Western University (Co-R), have won a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Insight Grant (SSHRC IG) in the amount of $167,000.00. 

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Meet our people

photo of rick helmes-hayes

Rick Helmes-Hayes


PhD (Toronto)
MA (Queen's)
BA History (Queen's)

Research and teaching areas


My major area of research is the history of Canadian social thought, especially the history of Canadian sociology.