Sociology is the scientific study of human social relationships. It allows individuals to understand the patterns formed by these relationships and the connections between their own experiences and the society in which they live.
Our goal is to teach sociology theories and research methods, and to help students learn how social relationships arise, why they persist, what effects they have, and how they maintain social order and contribute to social change.
Patricia J. Fanning received a Master's in American Studies and a PhD in sociology from Boston College. Her research interests include medical sociology, ethnicity, Irish studies, and the sociology of art. Her publications include book chapters on the intersection of ethnicity, health and the family and several essays on connections between the arts, primarily photography and literature, and the wider American culture. Her book titled Through an Uncommon Lens: The life and Photography of F. Holland Day (2008) was named an honors title in non-fiction in the Massachusetts Book Awards competition. Her study Influenza and Inequality: One Town's Tragic Response to the Great Epidemic of 1918 was published in 2010.
BA, Wheaton College
MA, PhD, Boston College
Norma Anderson received her PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, her MPA from the State University of New York at Albany, and her BA from Mount Holyoke College. Dr. Anderson's research focuses on Africa, pricipally exchange (of ideas, money, technology, charity, etc.) between the continent and other parts of the world. She is particularly interested in how development goals are viewed differently by insiders and outsiders, believing that insiders' ideas and knowledge should be understood and respected more than they are now. In short, she critiques a notion of "helpfulness." Most of her research has focused on Malawi but she has lived in Ghana and Ethiopia as well. She is a single mom to a fabulous child and enjoys long walks, coffee, and novels.
BA, Mount Holyoke College
MPA, State University of New York at Albany
PhD, The City University of New York
Walter F. Carroll is Professor of Sociology and a faculty member in Asian Studies. He received his PhD in Sociology from American University. Before coming to Bridgewater State University in 1986, Dr. Carroll taught at the University of Bridgeport, Simmons College, Tufts University, and Goucher College. He is an urban sociologist who teaches numerous courses. He has studied and written about guns and gun violence in the United States and, more recently, he has concentrated on issues related to the sociology of food. He wrote Brockton: From Rural Parish to Urban Center, co-authored Social Problems: Causes, Consequences, and Interventions, and has recently written pieces on the globalization of American food and hunger as a continuing problem in the United States. He has done research on and taught about sushi and globalization and is writing a book, Sushi: A Global History.
BA, MA, PhD, The American University
Jodi Cohen is Associate Professor of Sociology and the departmental honors and national honor society (Alpha Kappa Delta) coordinator. She earned a Master's in Gender and Cultural Studies at Simmons College, and a PhD in Sociology at Northeastern University. Her research interests include gender, sexuality, sport, education, and cultural heritage, and she has published in these areas. Her work appears in Information, Communication and Society, the International Journal of Transgenderism, and Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal. She is currently conducting research in two areas: examining issues of power and access in pregnant and parenting women's online forums, and the impact of UNESCO World Heritage status on host communities. She was awarded the Apple Award for teaching by the New England Sociological Asssociation in 2008, the Presidential Award for Distinguished Teaching at Bridgewater State University in 2009, and the Honors Outstanding Faculty Award in 2011.
BA, Colgate University
MA, Simmons College
PhD, Northeastern University
Fang Deng received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1996, and her MA is sociology in 1984 from Peking University, China. She worked as a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, People's Republic of China from 1985 to 1990. She had an article published in American Journal of Sociology, the most prestigious and intellectually rigorous journal in the discipline. Her book, Information Gap and Unintended Outcomes of Social Movements: The 1989 Chinese Student Movement was published in 2010 by Routledge Books as part of its series, International Library of Sociology. Her research interests are the application of game theory to sociology, rational choice theory, organizations, and globalization.
BA, Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing
MA, Peking University
PhD, University of Chicago
Kimberly E. Fox received her PhD from Loyola University Chicago where she ran the service learning and leadership program while earning her degree. She regularly teaches classes in research methods and data analysis along with family, work, and social inequality. Her broad research interests are in work, family and gender with an emphasisn on how single adults and individuals living alone contend with the multiple responsibiities of work, family and community. She is also interested in food studies, time-use, and the sociology of the body.
BA, Augustana College
MA, University of Arizona
PhD, Loyola University
Colby King earned his BA from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA, his MA in sociology from the University of South Carolina in 2009, and his PhD from the University of South Carolina in 2013. His primary areas of academic interest are urban sociology and stratification, inequality, and social class. He is also engaged with the American Sociological Association's Section on Teaching and Learning, studying how active learning exercises, including table-top gaming, can improve student learning.
Kim Mac Innis earned her PhD from Northeastern University. She has been teaching at Bridgewater since 1993. She specializes in violence against women, family violence, criminology, social theory, feminist theory, and mass media. A native of Canada, she is also a faculty member in the Canadian Studies program. She co-authored Social Problems: Causes, Consequences, and Interventions and has written extensively on gun violence and capital punishment. Dr. Mac Innis is a member or the Mentoring Advisory Group at Bridgewater.
BA, St. Francis Xavier University
MS, Dalhousie University
PhD, Northeastern University
Eduardo T. Perez is an education sociologist. He examines school problems, public concerns and rivaling scientific claims. Dr. Perez has served as chair of the Status for Racial and Ethnic Minorities for the American Sociological Association. His work apears in Teaching Sociology, Social Focus, and Race, Class and Gender journals and he is currently working on a textbook on the sociology of education. In speaking engagements, he has visited MIT and Regents University to share his research on diversifying the academy. He is a sea life enthusiast and is poised to explore human relationships in fishing communities. It is rumored that he aspires to set sail on his own lobster boat.
BA, Brandeis University
MA, PhD, Boston College
The department offers a BA in Sociology, with the option of choosing one of three concentrations: Education, City Community & Region, or Global Studies. We also offer a minor in sociology. Students have opportunities to apply theory to practice by engaging in collaborative research with faculty members and/or participating in internships.
The study of sociology is excellent preparation for employment in public and private sector social agencies, government agencies such as health and human services, and private industry. It also provides a useful background for graduate training in a variety of subjects. Students planning to become teachers also find sociology a valuable liberal arts major to help them prepare for their profession.