This is the second post in the “Complex Books, In Context” series. Check out the first resource guide on Wonder by R.J. Palacio here. In our quest to provide diverse and inclusive texts to our students, we must...
I am a sociologist. Sociology is the study of you and me and everyone else, working and living and doing things together. Sociology allows us to examine more closely the types of things we might take for granted in our home, our school, our workplace, our county, our world. Whenever we wonder about cultural differences or unequal outcomes, we are doing sociology.
When we learn to think sociologically, when we start to see the world from the “outside-in” we can never turn it off. We will forever be questioning why things are the way they are and wondering how to make things better. That’s the power of the sociological perspective.
Before joining the Mackin Learning team, I taught sociology courses for twelve years. My focus was American social inequalities–by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other social statuses–and political divides. That means that I spent thousands of hours navigating tough conversations with diverse groups of young people. And I learned a lot about how to have these conversations successfully, in a way that avoids defensive reactions and leads to deep, empathetic understanding.
This experience guides my overarching philosophy. My workshop series provides tools for using a sociological framework:
- Zooming Out from the Individual (to see the social context)
- Moving Beyond Diversity (to a deeper understanding of inequality)
- Practical Application (customized to your district/school/department)
When we apply this framework to your initiatives, goals, and curriculum, you will be empowered to more successfully navigate complex conversations with students, colleagues, and caregivers.