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College of Arts and Sciences Sociology

Distinguished sociology professor brings expertise in health disparities

Denney portrait, outsideWhen Justin Denney was still an aspiring, young sociologist, he strove to understand the dynamic forces that shape and perpetuate social inequality. Then, in graduate school, he came across the signal texts of renowned sociologist and Washington State University alumnus William Julius Wilson.

“Those classic works illuminated a central tenet and contribution of sociological inquiry that had eluded me to some degree,” Denney said. “It was an important moment for me and has influenced my career in a profound way.” » More …

2017 Wilson Award and Symposium

William Julius Wilson Symposium with Elijah AndersonWSU created the William Julius Wilson Award for the Advancement of Social Justice in 2009 to recognize individuals who promote social inclusiveness and diversity in social policies and strive to reduce joblessness. Wilson received his doctorate in sociology from WSU in 1966 and is widely considered one of the nation’s most influential sociologists. He is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University.

The biennial award is presented during a symposium held on the Pullman campus. The 2017 recipient is Elijah Anderson, one of the nation’s leading urban ethnographers and the William K. Lanman Jr. professor of sociology at Yale University. » More …

Sociology department newsletter, October 2017

Screen shot image of sociology newsletterFall is here—and WSU sociology has seen some exciting changes. We begin this issue with a letter from new department chair Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson. She shares her goals for the department, including implementation of a new strategic plan.

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Innovative WSU approach ignites survey industry, earns national award

Winners holding plaqueWSU researchers received a national award for designing a new survey method that is now used in censuses around the world.

WSU Regents Professor Don Dillman and a team of former graduate students were honored with the Warren J. Mitofsky Innovators Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research. The last award was granted in 2015 to Nate Silver, creator of FiveThirtyEight , the statistics-based news site.

The WSU team’s innovation is overcoming the negative effects that modern communication trends have on public opinion survey results by turning to an old-school source: postal mail.  » More …

What’s powering your devices?

Do Americans want to use more renewable energy?

Yes they do – regardless of whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, according to new research by Washington State University sociologists.

Christine Horne, professor of sociology, and Emily Kennedy, assistant professor of sociology, published a study in the journal Energy Policy » More …