Jodi O'Brien, PhD
Sociologists are fascinated by the fundamental question: why do people do what they do? Sociologists describe and explain the ecological foundations of society, major institutions and the ways in which people interact, organize their lives together and bestow meaning on the world. In so doing we seek a wider cross-cultural and multi-cultural understanding, striving to make people’s lives intelligible across the boundaries of culture, class, race, and gender.
The sociology program at Seattle University both embodies and extends these core principles of sociology. The sociology program is comprised of faculty who are engaged in a sociology for the 21st century. This undergraduate sociology program affords students a critical, interdisciplinary, and community-focused approach to doing sociology. Its faculty often seek to create a learning environment that acknowledges the canon of sociology while, simultaneously, affording students a more multidimensional, cutting-edge, and applied perspective on the discipline of sociology. This is made possible by a diverse community of sociology faculty who engage their students and the larger community through a range of critical pedagogies and scholarly interests that span from gender and sexuality studies, to narrative analyses, to political sociology, to punishment and social control, to feminist theory, to religion and sexuality, to mental illness, to ethnographic and community-based research, to public sociology, to urban studies and global social movements.
Degrees offered: BA, minor
Opportunities expand for faculty-student research in sociology thanks to an endowment created by Richard F. Beers II, class of 2007. Learn more.
"Contexts" is a quarterly magazine that makes cutting-edge social research accessible to general readers. We're the public face of sociology. It is a publication of the American Sociological Association, edited by Jodi O’Brien (Seattle University) and Arlene Stein (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey).
Department Chair Rob Efird was interviewed by China Daily USA about his work in China. He was recently selected as one of 20 China scholars for the National Committee on United States-China Relations' Public Intellectuals Program. Read the interview here.
Professor Efird also published "Schooling for Sustainable Development Across the Pacific," which includes overviews and case studies in environmental education and education for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region and examples in the US and Canada. More here.
Social Work Professor Amelia Seraphia Derr explored how social services providers understand the importance of incorporating new immigrants into their communities in "How Do Social Service Providers View Recent Immigrants." More here.
Social Work Professor Riva Zeff wrote about field placements for students in a new guide on best practices for designing, implementing, and maintaining an effective field education program. More here.