Sociology Focus


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One Response to Contact

  1. Christina Bermingham says:

    Dear Sociology in Focus:


    I first heard of this blog via but, I’ve been rather slow these last few months in visiting the site and keeping up with the posts. That changed a few weeks ago. Coincidentally, the reason for the shift was an unexpected 2 days home with a sick 4-year old and some extra time on my hands to check things out. I’m an Assistant Professor at a community college in Massachusetts – I teach about 6 classes of introductory sociology & criminology a semester. As I noted, I’d previously followed the work of Nathan Palmer over at his blog,, and had found the material incredibly helpful in enhancing student learning/my learning & teaching. I have spent the last few weeks really immersed in the posts on the Sociology in Focus site and have incorporated at least 8 of them in my course lectures/discussions. I’ve done this with outstanding results: student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the level of interaction, engagement w/ the course material, discussion, etc… that has been occurring in (and outside) the classroom is truly fantastic.
    I opened up the site today in my evening class w/the aim of discussing some of the graphics used in the post on the Titanic (I love using this metaphor in teaching social stratification but don’t have the more fancy graphics provided by the author in that post!). Now, this would be my 4th time incorporating this particular post in my class lecture(s) this week, so I was rather surprised to see several other more recently added posts pop up. As I started to scroll down to find the Titanic post, I didn’t make it very far before several students called out for me to stop and asked about the titles & content of the newer posts. One student in particular was very adamant about reading the piece on “sort of pregnant” and another was very excited about Pinterest. We read the excerpts of the more recent pieces together as a class, scrolling down until we reached the original post I was hoping to share.
    Now, it’s been a really long time since I’ve had so many students so excited about applying the course material. And, that is one of the BEST features about this collection of authors, the diverse topics explored here, and the awesome way in which the pieces are crafted to really speak to such a large and heterogenous audience. Well, more frankly, they didn’t just “speak to” the class, they invoked. One student actually commented that the site “has a little bit of everything for everyone” – !

    Now, on a personal note, I’ve been meeting this group of awesome students once a week for a 3 hour evening class for the last 13-14 weeks. The students in this class tend to engage a bit more with the material than some of my other classes. But, w/that said, we’ve never had a class like tonight: the discussions went on and on – and, well, given the diverse topics we managed to engage w/ by scrolling down the home page of the site, that’s probably not that all that surprising. And, yet, I can honestly say as a teacher tonight’s class was WAY up there – nothing short of amazing. Normally, we do a mix of discussion & group work or discussion & film clips, etc to break up the time and usually end 30 min’s early instead of taking a break in the middle. Tonight: there was no break; there was no ending early. Our discussions lasted about 15 minutes AFTER the normal ending point of the class. This is a total FIRST for me as a professor: And, I THANK YOU all for it. I should also add that students requested MORE of your site. Next week, we’ll be checking out some more of your posts. In fact, part of my Final Exam for all of my 5 introductory sociology classes, asks them to choose 3 posts on the site to read & answer the “Dig Deeper” questions. And, get this: students are EXCITED about this!
    So, please accept my deep appreciation for all the hard work you’re doing at Sociology in Focus. You’ve certainly made my experiences as a teacher that much more enriching and exciting; You’ve definitely struck a chord with my students and have enriched and enhanced their learning experience.

    So, keep the posts coming, we’re looking forward to them!

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