Sociology of Transformative Experience

When and why do people have experiences that transform them? Sociologists have long been interested in how social institutions such as religion, family, and social class influence individual experience. Existing sociological work also suggests that experiences in institutions like religion, politics, and social movements can fundamentally change people's self-conceptions and core preferences. Our goals are to explore how people select into or find themselves in contexts that facilitate these transformations and to investigate their short- and long-term consequences.

The "Sociology of Transformative Experience" is a $400,000 funding initiative intended to support work in sociology and related areas on the nature and varieties of transformative experience. Researchers can request between $25,000 and $100,000 for projects not to exceed two years in duration. (Interdisciplinary projects submitted under multiple Experience Project RFPs may request an amount equal to the sum of the maximum award amount for each RFP individually). Any two year proposals submitted jointly to multiple Experience Project RFPs must be submitted in the first funding cycle and submit a Letter of Intent in accordance with the application process in the Psychology and Sociology RFPs (Letters of Intent due October 1, 2014).We intend to make up to 8 awards.


The Sociology of Transformative Experience Timeline

October 1, 2014: Sociology letters of intent due

November 1, 2014: Sociology full froposals invited

February 15, 2015: Sociology full proposals due

Spring 2015: Funding decisions for Sociology  competition


The Sociology of Transformative Experience funding initiative is directed by Stephen Vaisey, Associate Professor of Psychology, Duke University.