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The Department of Sociology at McMaster University has a dynamic research program in many areas.

The key areas are: Social Inequality; Gender, Sexuality, and Family; Social Psychology; Race, Ethnicity and Immigration; Politics, Social Movements and Policy and Work.

Outcomes of Contact Between White and Indigenous People in Canada, a Case Study

Intergroup contact between white and Indigenous people in a small-town settler-colonial context reduces overt racism but often reinforces the sense of white superiority.

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White Wedding

Traditional weddings reinforce heterosexuality as the norm and act as a reference point when both straight and same-sex couples plan their marriage. Straight couples are more likely than same-sex couples to embrace a traditional wedding.

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Melanie Heath


Associate Professor | Graduate Chair of the Department of Sociology

Perceived Job Insecurity Edits

Prolonged exposure to the threat of job loss is associated with the most adverse health consequences for middle-aged workers. Young workers, in contrast, report fewer health penalties in response to job insecurity. Short-term job insecurity has little health effects.

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Environmental Consequences of the War on Illicit Drugs in Colombia

The militarized war on drugs in Colombia is extremely harmful to the environment. All parties involved in efforts to support or suppress cocaine production have detrimental effects on the environment.

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Female Employment and Escape from Poverty Among Recent Immigrants

The employment of recently-arrived immigrant women makes a significant contribution to lifting their family out of poverty. European immigrants have a higher probability of exiting poverty, explained by their higher female employment rates than their non-European counterparts.

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How Politics Shape Reputation—A Case Study of George Soros

When ideas make their way around the globe, they are interpreted at a local level. This is exemplified in the case study of George Soros, a well-known philanthropist, who has different reputations in Lithuania, Russia, and the USA.

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Modern Life and Hassidic Communities

Hassidic communities must react to social changes that could alter their insular lifestyle. They recognize the internet, rising divorce rates, and more people leaving the community as factors that most affect their unique way of living.

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The impact of neighbourhood composition on work-family conflict and distress

Work-family conflict is a modern mental health risk resulting from the inability to balance paid work and familial obligations. Similarities between neighbours, like family type, age, income, and ethnicity, reduce the consequences of work-family conflict for women more than for men by creating a sense of collective social support.

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Maintaining Critical Distance

The rules for evaluating fiction parallel rules for evaluating scientific fact. Book reviewers of fiction employ four strategies to help them go beyond their idiosyncrasies as readers and produce more objective assessments: recognizing conflicts of interest, maintaining critical autonomy, using evidence-based reviewing, and applying reflexive reading.

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Older people’s experiences of care at home

It is becoming more common for older people to receive care in their own homes, rather than in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Formal home care providers, such as personal support workers, typically offer assistance with bathing and dressing as well as some nursing and medical care.

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Digital Activism

During the Egyptian revolution in 2011, Twitter networks among Egyptian activists began to evolve. Networks combine, due to similar ideals, previous ties, or bridge builders between networks. This research looks at different moments of solidarity and schism in the Egyptian revolution.

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Youth Social Services

Employment Service is a program run by Employment Ontario and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Education. Their purpose is to help people find and keep employment. Just over a quarter of Employment Service organisations concentrate on youth, and this study focuses on one of these organisations that operates across two different geographical settings: the Urban Youth Centre and its Rural Branch.

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Faculty Tenure

The purpose of this research is to investigate whether racialized and female faculty achieve tenure at the same rate as non-racialized and male faculty and what factors affect these rates. The researchers examined two competing explanations offered in the research on tenure and promotion for why racialized and female faculty receive tenure and promotion at a lower rate.

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