SOCG 475

Public Sociology provides an opportunity for students to bring the “sociological imagination” to bear on questions facing our communities. During the semester students work in small groups to address research questions posed by a variety of community partners. Each group devises a research strategy, applies for research approval through the Institutional Review Board, conducts the necessary research, and presents their findings to their community partner at the end of the semester. We do this work without forgetting the unique perspectives that sociologists bring to research: keeping questions of power and inequality in mind, for instance, as we work through the issues posed by our partners. Recent community partners have included: Central Rappahannock Regional Library, City of Fredericksburg Planning Department, Loisann’s Hope House, Fredericksburg All Ages, The Fredericksburg Food Bank and the Fredericksburg Regional Continuum of Care. Research topics have included public opinion about the agency, best practices for permanent housing of chronically homeless people, and community views on renters versus homeowners. Librarypoint  Loisann's Hope HouseFAA Students write: “I highly recommend this class to anyone who is eligible to take it. It was an great semester long project and working in groups definitely teaches you a lot and prepares you for working with others in the professional world after college.” “Dr. Martin provided us with great opportunities to go out into the community and attempt to help make positive change. I personally believe this is the best way to learn and gain skills, so I’d recommend the course.”   For more information, contact Dr. Martin.