Office: North Hall 207
I was born in the Deep South but raised in the Midwest with its values of Democracy, Equality and Freedom. When I received my education the notion of Society was overwhelmingly self – evident. The Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King and the Women's Liberation Movement all pointed to the need to understanding human society through the lens of Sociology. After teaching several years at the University of Kentucky, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, I accepted a research position at Yale University. There, I further developed my interests in Social Theory, Deviant Behavior and Medical Sociology. In collaboration with my father, I published a two-volume work, which predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union entitled, [Anti Primitivism and the Decline of the West]. This spurred my interest in the Central European transition to a free market economy which I was able to study through a post doctoral scholarship at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. My current research interests range from studying the impacts of globalization on the American work force to issues of “deviance” and property rights in on-line virtual communities.
Though lectures have their place, my teaching philosophy emphasizes the Socratic Method, a series of questions and answers leading to a through understanding of class material. My ultimate goal is that every student becomes involved in class discussions. Participation is the key to getting students to think, analyze and understand. As for testing, I provide a wide variety of assessment measures including: short answers, essays and take home papers. My goal is not to fail students but to educate them. Thus, as a teacher, I am a co-participant in maximizing the best possible outcome for each and every student.
The successful sociology major is prepared for a wide variety of careers in a number of entry-level social service positions including rehabilitation, case management, group work with youth or the elderly, community action programs and corrections. Also, students are prepared for a variety of graduate level programs including [but not limited to] law, criminal justice, social work, human services, statistics, psychology and sociology.
Dr. Thomas Urban holds the following degrees: