Thematic areas

The Department has a particular focus on the following four areas:

Crime, law, and security

Crime, law, and security raise pressing issues for understanding contemporary policing and security practices and their cultural, political, and socio-legal implications. Our researchers study the causes, institutional responses to, and governance of crime, deviance, and anti-social behaviour. Our diverse and active faculty support theoretically informed research in a range of substantive areas such as border security, criminal justice, criminal networks, national and international security, organized crime, policing, punishment, security and surveillance studies, socio-legal studies and terrorism.

Faculty members with expertise in this area include:

Knowledge, education, and digital culture

Knowledge, education, and digital cultures examines the development, conditions, and transmission of knowledge, values and practices. Our researchers study how social contexts and informal and formal processes relate to the following origins of ideas, ideology, scientific and technical expertise, human development, social structures and social stratification. Such research spans various levels of analysis, ranging from the individual to the structure of relations among institutions. Faculty and graduate students working in these areas investigate a range of topics including think tanks, intellectual networks, the culture of cities, parenting, the organization of schooling, academic achievement, new media and gaming.

Faculty members with expertise in this area include:

Migration, borders, and transnationalism

Migration within and between countries has reached unprecedented levels and continues to shape the societies we live in. Simultaneously, the proliferation of border and migration controls contributes to an increase in inequality and violence and to the classification of populations as citizens and non-citizens, and as wanted and unwanted migrants. Such practices shape political, legal, and cultural frameworks and have lasting effects on migrants and their socio-economic wellbeing, as well as on areas of origin, transit, and destination. Faculty and graduate students working in this area investigate how migration, borders, and transnationalism intersect with issues of global and national inequality, freedom of movement, citizenship and belonging, humanitarian and development governance, and security.

Faculty members with expertise in this area include:

Social inequality and public policy

There are many dimensions of systematic inequality in society. Scholars of social inequality and public policy are interested in understanding the production and reproduction of systematic inequality, and social policy’s role in these dynamics. Dimensions of inequality include age, race/ethnicity, income, Aboriginality, gender, religion, immigration status, sexuality, rural/urban geography, health status and (dis)ability and social class, among others. Social policy areas of focus include educational policy, health and health care, pensions and income support, welfare, social assistance, environmental legislation, immigration and security, and policing and law enforcement.

Faculty members with expertise in this area include: