Department of Sociology

Research and Publications

In the last few years, UNLV sociologists have conducted research and published their work on spousal bereavement, family income trends, gender differences in small business ventures, labor and consumer culture, welfare-to-work policies, race and market dynamics, recidivism and private prisons, second-hand tobacco policies, emerging trends in the gaming industry, the politics of baseball business, the role of religion in culture wars, the transformation of self-identity in postmodern society, advertisement strategies in the hypermodern era, the white power movement, poverty patterns in heterosexual and same-sex couples, current trends in the interviewing process, interactions and identity-construction in virtual spaces, and biographical methods of research.

Research Grants

Our faculty members have secured extramural and internal research grants that support cutting-edge scholarship on the issues confronting our community, nation, and the world.

  • The Las Vegas Metropolitan Areas Social Survey 2010 has tracked Las Vegans’ attitude toward the natural environment, community, and economy. Funded by grants in the amount of $62,598, this project is cosponsored by the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, the city of Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, the Urban Sustainability Initiative, and the UNLV Presidential Research Award. The survey’s goal is to evaluate the sustainability outlook in areas crucial to the well-being of Southern Nevada.
  • Smart Policing Initiatives in Las Vegas Neighborhoods is a $400,000 grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice to UNLV sociology faculty and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to identify best policing practices and implement data-driven policies in the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
  • The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project was designed by our faculty in collaboration with the history department, and it explores Nevada’s historical role as a nuclear weapon testing site. Funded by an $830,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Education, this undertaking documents and preserves the lived past of the state residents associated with and affected by nuclear weapon testing in Nevada.
  • The Nevada Problem Gambling Project and Nevada E-health Project were developed by sociology faculty in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School. Supported by $1,099,880 in state of Nevada and Harvard University grants, these gambling-related investigations used to be managed by a DOS faculty member with a joint appointment at the Harrah Hotel College, but recently the sociology department lost the scholar central to this project after he was appointed director of the UNLV International Gaming Institute.
  • 2009 Adult Entertainment Expo Survey, a collaborative project UNLV sociologists conducted with their colleagues across campus that examined the attitudes of convention-goers toward Las Vegas, sexual entertainment, and spending priorities.

Interdisciplinary Projects

DOS faculty members have been working on regional initiatives and are currently stakeholders in several interdisciplinary projects:

  • UNLV Climate Change Research Group - funded by a $15 million EPSCOR National Science Foundation Grant
  • NSHE Student Climate Change Survey - assessing NSHE students' knowledge and attitudes toward climate change
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