Welcome to Sociology

Sociology 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. 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.

Classes Offered Spring 2016

  • SOC 100X Individual, Culture, & Society--multiple sections, including eLearning and F2F
  • SOC 201 Social Problems (eLearning)
  • SOC 202 Pop Culture
  • SOC 242 The Family (eLearning)
  • SOC 250 Intro Stats for the Social Sciences
  • SOC 263 Social Inequality & Stratification
  • SOC 303 Early Sociological Thought
  • SOC 333 Human Sexualities (eLearning)
  • SOC 480W Qualitative Research Methods
  • SOC 490 Capstone Seminar (live web-conference)

About our program

photo of the Fairbanks Farmers Market
Farmers Market, Fairbanks AK

The Department of Sociology is a friendly and small department where you will get to know other students and your faculty. Our program is 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. We believe that the sociological perspective can make special contributions towards realizing social justice.

Mission : 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

Here are some resources for sociology students. As you can see, there is more to being a sociology student than taking classes! 

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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