Coordinator: Meredith Kleykamp | (301) 405-6409dsegal [at] umd.edu ( | )
The study of the relationship between armed forces and society in the University of Maryland’s Department of Sociology was introduced between the Korean and Vietnam wars by the late Professor Charles Coates, who joined the faculty in 1955. He established courses in Military Sociology and the Sociology of War. In collaboration with Roland J. Pellegrin, he also wrote the first textbook in military sociology. Please refer to the biography authored by Professor Coates son.
The intellectual trajectory of research in the military sociology program has mirrored changes to the military organization over time. New faculty members with interests in peace, war, and military organization were added to the department in the 1970s in the wake of military involvement in Southeast Asia. By the mid-1970s, the end of military conscription and the establishment of the all-volunteer military force served as the primary focus of research. Through the 1980s, focus shifted to the role played by the U.S. military in peacekeeping operations, and to the increasingly timely and important issues of the ongoing process of gender integration in armed forces and of the work-family interface in the military context. Today, increasing attention centers on the consequences of military service for the lives of veterans and their families.
University of Maryland Sociology faculty members especially involved in military sociology are Meyer Kestnbaum, Meredith Kleykamp, Jeff Lucas and David Segal.The faculty members in the program are carrying out active programs of research related to the military, war, and peace. Their research interests include military organization, war and the state, peace and peacekeeping, small wars, personnel issues, military families, military women, veterans, group processes, and the relationship between military institutions and demographic processes.
Graduate Student Research Opportunities and Employment
In addition to working with individual faculty on research, graduate students can find employment as research assistants in a variety of projects. Students are encouraged to present papers at regional and national professional meetings and to publish their work in professional journals. There are many opportunities for students through the LEAD Program and the Center for Research on Military Organizations. The LEAD program is a contractual relationship between the United States Naval Academy and the University of Maryland to provide a graduate level program for mid-grade Navy and Marine Corps officers who will be Company Officers at the Naval Academy. Research assistantships are available through the Center for Research on Military Organizations (CRMO). The military sociology program is also associated with the multidisciplinary Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM).
Our location in the Washington area enables us to maintain relationships with many Federal and State agencies including the U.S. Institute for Peace, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, and the Defense Manpower Data Center among others. These relationships provide opportunities for graduate student support, for participation in ongoing research programs, and facilitate access to data for seminar papers, theses, and dissertations.