About Think Sociology


This website is for sociologists who teach introduction to sociology and are interested in adding a visual and/or interactive component to the classroom learning experience. There are three resources on this website.

Power Point presentations for each of the major sociological topics.

The presentations capitalize on the power of photographs as a tool for presenting sociological concepts and theories. Photographic images offer students opportunities to observe, analyze and apply sociological concepts and theories. Once the Power Points are downloaded you are free to modify to fit your classroom needs. Commercial use is not permitted. The Power Points also include extensive notes that offer helpful tips and background information to facilitate in their presentation. Simply view notes to read.

An interactive resource that builds upon a cost free survey technology supported by polleverywhere.com.

With this technology, students can use cell phones, laptops or other technologies that permit texting or facilitate internet access to answer questions with immediate results. The trick, of course, is asking questions that make key points or lead to meaningful discussion. For each of the major sociological topics there is a set of recommended questions that help convey some important sociological principle, process or concept. The questions are formatted in such a way that you can copy and paste right into the polleverywhere.com software. Simply choose “Create Poll” and then copy the desired set of questions (all at once and as formatted) into the rectangular box. Scroll down and select “Create.” You are free to add and modify questions for classroom, but not use them for commercial purposes.

Recommended short video clips to illustrate key sociological concepts and theories.

Typically the recommended videos take five to 10 minutes of time to present, sometimes even less time. To give context to each video clip there is a Power Point presentation laying out the relevant concepts and theories. Embedded within the slides is a link to video clip and talking points. Once the Power Points are downloaded you are free to modify to fit your classroom needs. Commercial use is not permitted. The Power Points also include notes that offer helpful tips and background information on video clip and sociological ideas emphasized.


Dr. Ferrante



Dr. Joan Ferrante

  Dr. Joan Ferrante is founder and director of the Mourning the Creation of Racial Categories Project.  She is a professor of sociology at Northern Kentucky University. Joan is the author of Sociology: A Global Perspective (9th edition) and Seeing Sociology (3rd edition).  She also co-authored/edited The Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity in the United States with Prince Brown, Jr (2nd edition). Her most recent works are Places That Matter: Knowing Your Neighborhood Through Data (University of California, forthcoming 2018) and How Race Has Estranged US: An Invitation to Talk (in progress).

     Joan is especially interested in the social construction of race in the United States.  Specifically, she is interested in the U.S. system of racial classification and how that system of classification came to be. It is a system founded on trauma, loss, separation and abandonment. And it is a system that requires Americans to acknowledge some ancestors and silence others. To grasp this idea, think about President Obama who is considered the first black president of the United States. For Obama to be considered black, he had to be part of a society that decided certain ancestors (those from the continent of Africa) are much more important to his identity than the Kansas-born white-appearing ancestors. To call President Obama black we must look past the fact that his skin shade is significantly lighter than his biological father’s and closer in shade to that of his mother. Finally, we must treat the African or black historical experience/influence as exponentially more important than the European or white historical experience/influence in shaping his life.  Joan is interested in how this way of seeing race has shaped race relations and dynamics in the United States.  She believes, as does Carlos Fernández, that the separation of biologically related peoples into racial categories “is at the heart of an unresolved American identity crisis, a dilemma that perpetuates ethnic and racial disunion and makes the resolution of the general race problem virtually impossible.”