Sociology

A student makes a presentation at the annual Research Symposium

Mission

Sociology challenges students to move beyond stereotypical and taken for granted assumptions that are deeply embedded in our daily lives to be able to think analytically and critically about the nature of social life. This means learning how to avoid the trap of drawing simplistic conclusions, resisting common-sensical shallow thinking, and overcoming pervasive ethnocentric visions of the world.

We will foster the development of critical and creative thinking by analytically dissecting and exploring complex situations and social interactions at different geographical and temporal scales. Thus, we toggle between face-to-face interaction and global relations and compare contemporary social dynamics with long-term historical trends.

We aim to cultivate passion, encourage curiosity, and stimulate creative energies to learn and reflect on the past, understand the present, and contemplate the prospects for our collective future. This will be accomplished by fostering the critical and creative thinking skills necessary to meet the fast changing, local and global challenges of our time.

We are exploring social life today to shape what is coming tomorrow!

Goals

  1. Sociology majors will demonstrate mastery of skills to critically evaluate research findings.
  2. Sociology majors will conduct original research by collecting data and producing a research report.
  3. Sociology majors will demonstrate skillful application and communication of sociological concepts and theories.
  4. Sociology majors will apply a global perspective to every aspect of social life.

Contact the Sociology Program

Dr. Paul Knudson

Paul Knudson, Ph.D.

Chair, Sociology; Associate Professor of Sociology
(910) 630-7058
Trustees 200C
Dr. Paul Knudson
Paul Knudson, Ph.D.

Chair, Sociology; Associate Professor of Sociology

B.A., Northwestern College; M.A., University of North Dakota; Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany

Bio:

Dr. Knudson’s teaching and research interests focus on urban and metropolitan affairs, education, political economy, and class/inequality. His current research project examines school choice, particularly middle class families who decide to remain in central cities and enroll their children in central-city public schools. Papers based on this research have been presented at meetings of the American Sociological Association, the Eastern Sociological Society, and the Association for Humanist Sociology. Another project of Knudson’s will explore gentrification in Raleigh, N.C.

Recent/Forthcoming Publications:

Paul T. Knudson (Forthcoming). “The Perceptions of Private and Suburban Public Schools Among Middle Class Urban Parents: Evidence from Albany, New York.” American Journal of Qualitative Research.

Paul T. Knudson. (Forthcoming). Continuing Social Constraints in Education Agency: The School Choices and Experiences of Middle Class African American Families in Albany, NY” Qualitative Sociology Review.

Paul T. Knudson.  (Forthcoming).  “Academic Privilege and Social Segmentation: The Experiences of Middle Class African American Families in Central City Public Schools: Accounts from Albany, NY.” Sociological Imagination.

 Paul T. Knudson. (Forthcoming). “Exploring the Perspectives of Middle Class African American Parents Who Are Charter School Skeptics.” Humanity & Society.

(910) 630-7058
Trustees 200C