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Saturday, January 29, 2022

Sociology professor and Stevenson Center board member talks scholarship, fundamentals, and ‘noticing the trees’ – News

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The Stephenson Center is run by a motivated faculty and staff who teach students and provide them with a support network that helps them take the next step in their careers. In some cases, faculty members can provide students with new opportunities for advancement in their respective fields. One of these faculty members is Dr. Michael L.

“I love working on these things with students because it brings a certain level of accountability, but the mentorship aspect is really satisfying,” Dougherty said. “Watching the students put something special through draft after draft, and watching the ideas develop into greater clarity and coherence, it’s wonderful.”

Some examples of Dougherty’s academic writing include a 2015 book called By gun or by bribe: firm size, environmental governance, and corruption among Guatemalan mining companies, besides being considered an editor of Mining in Latin America: critical approaches to new extraction. The common theme is “extractive industries” such as mining, and the potential problems these industries cause.

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“My area of ​​interest is really focused on environmental issues at the community level, like how communities deal with these things, especially in the case of conflict with organizations or industries,” Dougherty said. “So, I’ve studied mining, recycling, and tourism, and how the dynamics within a particular industry contrast with the dynamics of local areas where the industry sets up shop and starts operating.”

Dougherty also serves as a graduate coordinator in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, along with teaching a list of 200 and 300 courses. One of the things Dougherty stresses in his classes is the Social Toolkit, which focuses on “critical thinking, clear and coherent writing, research design, and basic disciplinary concepts,” according to the faculty’s profile page.

“You need a certain skill set to succeed in a sociology program beyond just being an intelligent person who is willing to work hard,” Dougherty said. “Those things are important, but you also need to learn how to read a piece of the study, how to create a coherent paragraph-to-paragraph argument that works to substantiate an entire research thesis, and that kind of thing. It’s about making all of these pieces consistent.”

Dougherty emphasizes these basics as an important part of being a sociologist.

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“The beauty of sociology, perhaps even part of the problem, is that it doesn’t have the kind of name recognition that other things do, because it’s incredibly broad and unwilling to limit itself,” Dougherty said. “That makes it hard to put together exactly what you want to do with it, but on the flip side, it also means you can do whatever you want with it.

“I stress those basics because in order to deal with fun things, like social constructs, you have to be able to express your ideas in clear, concise, and coherent ways so you can make this your profession and make a living. We often stress the idea of ​​not losing the forest for the trees. , but sociologists tend to get lost in the forest, and I try to impart wisdom to make sure that students take the time to really notice the trees before they try to take the whole forest.”

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