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Sociology

Summer 2024

A century of WSU sociology

Gang dynamics, effective surveys, rural communities, families, environmental issues—Washington State University’s sociology department explored these societal topics and many others over the last 100 years. The department always kept an eye on the university’s mission to connect research with people and communities across the state.

Fred Yoder was appointed as the first sociologist at Washington State College in 1920 and became the chair of the Sociology Department in 1928. Since then, the department has been a national and international leader in sociological research and undergraduate and graduate education. Many students have gone on to successful careers as academic sociologists, … » More …

Book title We Few, We Academic Sisters in stylized orange and red lines
Summer 2024

WSU academic sisters look back

They launched their careers at Washington State University in the 1960s and ’70s, becoming full professors during a time when reaching that milestone was extremely rare for women. Forty years later, a friend and colleague urged the “Troika,” as they call themselves, to tell their stories in a volume that she then edited.

We Few, We Academic Sisters: How We Persevered and Excelled in Higher Education was published by WSU Press in 2023. The same year, WSU’s department of sociology, where the trio worked, turned 100. The authors and their editor, all longtime friends, took part in the centennial celebration, presenting a panel … » More …

illustration of girl writing math equations on chalkboard
Spring 2020

How to encourage a girl: Improving diversity in STEM

“Your daughter is obviously good at math,” the teacher says to the girl’s parents at a fourth-grade parent-teacher meeting.

The parents have noticed this, too, and suggest to the fourth grader that she study physics, astronomy, maybe engineering or another math-intensive field. As she gets older, she remains interested in all those things, but she’s also picking up messages that are telling her something quite different.

She and her family are avid Big Bang Theory fans. They’ve watched every episode. So even as her parents and teachers are saying, “You’re good at this!” and “Follow your passion!” she’s seeing portrayals of men in gendered professions, … » More …