Department of Sociology
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.
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
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, principal 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, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. 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 and a sociologist of food. He has studied and written about guns and gun violence in the United States and, more recently, has concentrated on issues related to the sociology of food. He wrote Brockton: From Rural Parish to Urban Center (1989), co-authored Social Problems: Causes, Consequences, and Interventions (2000), and has recently written pieces on the globalization of American food, hunger as a continuing problem in the United States, and the ethical aspects of Asian cuisine. He has studied and taught about sushi and globalization. He received the New England Sociological Association's Apple Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching Sociology in 1992. In 2001, he received a Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative (CITI) IT Across the Curriculum grant for work on Communications, Technology, and Society. At BSU, in 2007 he (with three colleagues) received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Collaboration to Improve Teaching at BSU for infusing Japanese studies into the curriculum. In 2014 he received the Jordan D. Fiore Award for Social Justice to support his research on "Organizations Advocating Gun Control," published in Guns and Contemporary Society (2016).
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 Association 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
Aseem Hasnain is a political sociologist. His research and publications include collective identity formation; social movements; Human Rights; and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Teaching interests include Political sociology; Race & Ethnicity, Globalization; Middle Eastern Societies; and South Asian Societies.
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.
BA, Bridgewater State University
MA, University of Massachusetts at Boston
PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo
Michele Wakin is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Center for Urban Poverty. She received her PhD from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2005. Her research interests include: homelessness, urban and community studies, qualitative methods, and race/class/gender inequality. Dr. Wakin has articles in American Behavioral Scientist, City & Community, Administrative Theory and Praxis, and The Journal of Workplace Rights. Her first book, Otherwise Homeless: Vehicle Living and the Culture of Homelessness, was published in 2014. In 2009 she was the recipient of the Ernest A. Lynton Citation for Distinguished Engaged Scholarship for Early Career Faculty. Her research has been funded by the US department of Housing and Urban Development, the Institute for Labor and Employment, and the American Sociological Association. She is currently working on her second book, which offers a comparative view of jungles in the lives of hoboes in the early 1900s and homeless people today.
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.
For more information on programs see our Catalog.