Cultural sociology involves the analysis of cultural phenomena drawing on established concepts in sociology. Sociologists are interested in the effect that social relationships have on cultures and at the same time how culture informs interaction and social structure. Culture is described in terms of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic achievements of groups and the beliefs, norms, and values and customs of those groups. Subareas include class culture, religion, education, popular culture, science, music, food, and tastes and lifestyles.
Members of the culture concentration faculty have studied race and social reform in the making of the middle class; race, basketball and the American Dream; the culture of torture and war crime trials; visual representations of community disasters; liberation theology and Catholic social movements; new media, legal consciousness, and the politics of community; family meal rituals and time spent in fast food restaurants.