Welcome to Sociology

photo of student, Janelle Perry, with Karl Marx doll

The Department of Sociology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks offers you the chance to study the diversity of social life, the relations among people, and the various ways and means by which people come together—the “social” as we term it. Our program focuses especially on those social systems that create and maintain inequalities and those that are organized to redress such inequalities and promote social justice.

We offer the discipline’s classical and contemporary social theories, and a range of social science research methods, including quantitative, statistical, and qualitative approaches. Our courses cover the legal and social control systems, institutions and organizations, social issues and social movements, as well as the various cultural forms that help shape and influence our social existence.

Our program fosters what C. Wright Mills called “The Sociological Imagination”—a distinctive perspective that can transcend surface appearances to illuminate the complex social reality underneath. From our program you will hone your sociological imagination and learn to deploy it to understand how broader social forces can constrain or enhance our lives, and to participate in constructive social change.

We invite you to investigate what sociology and our department can offer you.

Classes Offered Fall 2015

Free your mind! Take Sociology courses!

The Department of Sociology will be offering many courses during the Fall 2015 semester:

  • SOC 100X Individual, Culture, and Society (multiple sections; eLearning and face-to-face)
  • SOC 201 Social Problems
  • SOC/PSY 250 Intro to Statistics for the Social Sciences (eLearning)
  • SOC/PSY 333 WGS 332 Human Sexualities Across Cultures (eLearning and face-to-face)
  • SOC 335 Deviance and Social Control
  • SOC 373W Research Methods in the Social Sciences (writing intensive)
  • SOC 405O Social Movements, Social Change (oral intensive)
  • SOC 499 Senior Thesis in Sociology

See your adviser to sign up now!

About our program

photo of home in Buckland, AK, with satellite dish, wolf skin, snowmobile, and dog sled
home in Buckland, AK; photo by Kayt Sunwood 2006

The Department of Sociology is small in terms of the number of faculty. As a result, you will get to know your instructors, and faculty get to know students as individuals. Our program is also unique because it focuses on the study of inequalities and social justice. Our vision is to expand understanding of inequalities and to work towards social justice. To that end, faculty teach, conduct research, and do service work that is related to multiple issues of social justice and inequalities. As you can see by reading our mission statement and goals below, we believe that the sociological perspective can make special contributions towards realizing social justice.

: The Department of Sociology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks seeks to contribute to the broader intellectual mission of the university by sharing the sociological perspective through teaching and research on social issues, especially those concerning social justice and pertaining to the North and its diverse peoples.

Goals: The Department of Sociology has the following goals:

•  to facilitate student learning of the discipline and craft of sociology;
•  to prepare students for advanced study in sociology, professional schools in other fields, and life-long learning;
•  to advance sociological and social science knowledge through original research; and
•  to employ sociological expertise through service to the university, the community and the state of Alaska.

Department News--Fall 2015

photo of Dr. David Kadanoff

The Department of Sociology welcomes Dr. David Kadanoff to UAF! Dr. Kadanoff is a term assistant professor who is originally from New York, and most recently from California. He says he wanted to come teach in Alaska because he loves to hike! Stop in and say hello to him the next time you are on 7th floor Gruening.

Dr. Jordan Titus retired after serving UAF for several decades. Dr. Melanie Arthur resigned. Both of them are much missed!

Dr. John Heaton, Professor of History, is the new Department Chair for Sociology. Dr. Heatong brings many years of departmental leadership to the job, and we welcome him. In his spare time, Dr. Heaton plays electric guitar. 

Resources for Students

photo of a woman reading on a sunny day

Below, you will find some resources that will be critical to your success as a sociology student. For example, you will most likely be required to use the ASA-approved citation format in your sociology courses. You can find a link to the quick online version below. But there is more to being a sociology student than writing papers and attending classes, as you probably already know. Are you interested in joining an honor society? Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honor society open to sociology undergraduates who maintain an excellent GPA and who are interested in putting their sociological imagination to work for the good of humanity. Check out the link to our local chapter, Beta of Alaska, below.

There are also many opportunities for undergraduate students within other professional organizations, including the American Sociological Association (ASA) and our regional association, the Pacific Sociological Association. Both of these offer memberships to undergraduate students at very reasonable rates. If you are serious about sociology, consider joining one or more professional organization. The PSA, in particular, is very friendly to undergraduates! PSA encourages student participation at its annual conference by offering travel assistance, setting up special sessions just for undergraduates, and even maintaining student hospitality suites (read: free pop and snacks). The ASA now has a special Student Forum and info about publications for sociology students on its website; make sure you check out the resources available for students on the ASA page linked below.

If you are wondering about what type of career you might pursue after graduating with a sociology degree, click on the Careers link below. This link also contains valuable information for students who are merely considering sociology as their major, as well as info for students considering going to graduate school to get an advanced degree in sociology. It's never too soon to start thinking of your future, and the Careers link will help you do just that.


Resources for Alumni

photo of alum, Ashley Ferenc

Our graduates may no longer be attending classes at UAF, but their spirits still linger on 7th floor Gruening! Faculty, staff, and continuing students love to hear about alumni, so please do keep in touch to let us know what you're up to these days. We would like to continue to feel connected to our sociological community. Be sure to email the Dept of Sociology with your news so we can keep up with what you're doing!

If you became a member of AKD while you were a student at UAF, remember that you are a member for life! Click on the link below to find out what has been going on since you graduated. (And while you're thinking about it, why not send in your dues renewal to the international office so you won't miss any issues of Sociological Perspective... The address can be found on the AKD page linked below.)

Yet another way you can continue to stay connected to the Department of Sociology and to the sociological community you helped to create while you were a student here is to give to the University. You can earmark your donation for the Department if you wish.

Please do keep in touch with us. We miss you, and we would love to hear more about your life since your graduation!


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