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Susan J. Ferguson

Department Chair of Sociology


Susan Ferguson is Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College, where she has taught for over 23 years. Ferguson regularly teaches Introduction to Sociology, and her critically acclaimed anthology, Mapping the Social Landscape: Readings in Sociology (McGraw-Hill, 2013) is used in introductory classes around the country. Ferguson also teaches courses on the family, medical sociology, and a new seminar on social inequality and identity. Ferguson has published in all of these areas, including the research collection, Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic (with co-editor Anne Kasper, Palgrave, 2000), Shifting the Center: Understanding Contemporary Families (McGraw-Hill, 2011), and most recently, Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Social Class: Dimensions of Inequality & Identity (Sage, 2016). In addition, Ferguson is the General Editor for Contemporary Family Perspectives, which is a series of research monographs and short texts on the family (Sage Publications). 

In 2005, Ferguson trained to become a department consultant and member of the Department Resources Group (DRG) for the American Sociological Association. ASA DRG consultants are hired to review departments, help with assessment, mentor sociology colleagues, or address particular concerns with curriculum or departmental structure. Ferguson also is active in the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning, and she regularly offers teaching workshops at regional and national meetings.  She recently co-authored the Measuring College Learning White Paper in Sociology (Jossey-Bass, 2016), and she is co-chair of the ASA Task Force on Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major Updated.


Campus Phone: 

(641) 269-3133


faculty info column 1

On-Campus Address: 

106 Carnegie Hall
Grinnell, IA 50112
United States

Education / Degrees: 

Ph.D. Sociology, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, 1993 M.A. Sociology, Colorado State University, 1988 B.A. Spanish and Political Science, Colorado State University, 1984

Courses Taught: 

Courses Taught SOC 111: Introduction to Sociology (Sample Syllabus) SOC 265: Sociology of Health and Illness (Sample Syllabus) SOC 291: Methods of Empirical Investigation SOC 295: SpTp: Sociology of the Body SOC 300: Practicum in Applied Sociology SOC 320: The Family (Sample Syllabus) SOC 390: AdvStds: Contemporary Woman's Health Issues

Primary Academic Interest: 

The Family
Medical Sociology

Curriculum Vitae/Resume: 

Department Chair: