Sociology Research

Dr. David G. LoConto has a forthcoming book, Sociology and Thinking Critically: An Introduction to Sociology. Great River Technologies: Austin, TX.

 This Introduction to Sociology textbook will be an ebook, with videos and links embedded into the text. The goal of the book is to provide students an introduction to the discipline, but not in a traditional format, which often reads like a reference book. This text will inform students on the processes of being a sociologist, and how sociology helps us maneuver our way through the social world.

Dr. David G. LoConto has a forthcoming contribution in the book, Sociology for the Curious: Why Study Sociology? Kishor Vaidya (Ed.) ISBN 978-1-925128-59-8)

 The purpose of the piece was to explain my thoughts on the discipline of sociology, and why it is a viable option of study for students. I address how sociology helps us critically think and evaluate the world around us.

Dr. David G. LoConto has a forthcoming article in the scholarly journal: Journal for the Sociological Integration of Religion and Society titled: “Sociology with Christianity: The Last Attempt of Charles A. Ellwood to Right the Wrong.”

The article is coauthored with Danielle Jones Pruett of Merrimack College.


Charles A. Ellwood, one of the first doctorates in Sociology in the United States, and the father of Sociological Social Psychology published several articles and books on the purpose of the discipline. In addition to extending John Dewey’s Functional Psychology, he focused on the idea of qualitative methods as scientific method. The integration of Christianity with sociology has largely been ignored in his work. The following addresses his ideas on this integration. He addressed five key areas that occurred in the United States as people became more secular: (1) the reliance on theology; (2) the development and institutionalization of a sensate culture; (3) the ignorance of science toward the metaphysical; (4) the Christian position on war; and (5) business as selfishness. He advocated turning to the words of Christ and thereby (1) creating an absolute from which right and wrong were discernible; (2) that the words of Christ connect with natural law and collectivity; and (3) that Jesus stipulated the interconnectedness of everything, therefore resulting in the responsibility for all. His hope was that by abiding by the words of Christ that people would work collectively to help each other.

Dr. Cynthia Fabrizio Pelak has a forthcoming article in the scholarly journal Race, Gender and Class, titled “Remembering and Reclaiming the Genius of Beah Richards’ A Black Woman Speaks… of White Womanhood, of White Supremacy, of Peace.”


Beah Richards is not a name that immediately comes to mind when one thinks of feminist theorists of the twentieth century. Yet, her 1951 poem _A Black Woman Speaks of White Womanhood, of White Supremacy, of Peace_ contains unmistakable theoretical assertions about the simultaneity of race, gender and class oppression that predates multiracial feminist theorizing that emerged in the academy during the late twentieth century. This analysis examines the epistemological assumptions and theoretical assertions articulated in A Black Woman Speaks, exploring the ways in which the poem exemplifies an intercategorical, praxis-intersectionality approach and integrates group-centered, process-centered, and system-centered analytical varieties. The author argues that collectively remembering and reclaiming the genius of Beah Richards opens up an opportunity to reaffirm the radical political roots of an intersectionality approach, which are often forgotten in the depoliticized and commodified economic and cultural landscape of academia in the twenty-first century.

Drs. Jim and Julie Steinkopf Rice have an article forthcoming in the scholarly journal Journal of Historical Sociology. Details of this article are below.

“Radiation is Not New to Our Lives”: The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Continental Atmospheric Weapons Testing, and Discursive Hegemony in the Downwind Communities.” James Rice and Julie Steinkopf Rice


Drawing from the post-structuralist discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe and corpus linguistics techniques, we deconstruct the discursive strategies of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) during the era of continental atmospheric atomic testing in southern Nevada. The data consist of AEC pamphlets distributed in the “downwind” communities in 1953, 1955, and 1957 coincident with major test series. We illustrate discursive dominance hinged on the invocation of national security and instrumental rationality as key signifiers and portrayal of radioactive fallout as natural, ubiquitous, and controllable. Further, AEC discourse was predicated upon casting officials in a paternalistic role and residents of the rural communities downwind as best served though acquiescence to AEC authority and expertise. We conclude by highlighting the empirical evidence regarding the deleterious health effects of atmospheric atomic testing between 1951 and 1962 and argue examination of AEC discursive hegemony offers important lessons applicable to contemporary socio-technical controversies.

Dr. Julie Steinkopf Rice has an article forthcoming in Agriculture and Human Values, titled “Privilege and Exclusion at the Farmers Market: Findings from a Survey of Shoppers.”


Research consistently shows the typical farmers market shopper is a white, affluent, well-educated woman. While some research to date examining farmers markets discusses the exclusionary aspects of farmers markets, little has problematized this portrait of the typical shopper. As a result of this neglect, the potential of farmers markets to be an inclusive, sustainable development tool remains hindered. This study seeks to better understand this typical shopper by drawing upon anti-consumerism literature to examine the motivations of these shoppers. Findings from a survey of 390 shoppers in a predominately Hispanic community are discussed. Results from the survey indicate that even in a community in which white, non-Hispanics are the minority, the farmers market shopper is likely to be a white, non-Hispanic female who is more affluent and well-educated than the average community member. Theoretical implications and implications for those working in community development are discussed. Suggestions for future research are also provided.