Department News

Research by WSU sociologist profiled in The Atlantic

Recent research published in the journal City & Community by WSU sociologist Chase Billingham was profiled in an article in The Atlantic magazine. The article draws on findings from Billingham's article (coauthored with the University at Buffalo sociologist Shelley Kimelberg) to examine the stigma attached to urban public schools and how people's perceptions of school quality can affect their views of the communities they inhabit, with implications for residential segregation.

“We know that these terms ["urban" and "suburban"], which might seem like they are neutral descriptions of physical spaces, are not neutral,” says Shelley Kimelberg, a sociologist at the University at Buffalo who co-authored the study with the Wichita State University sociology professor Chase Billingham. “They reflect people’s lived experiences and the social environment.” According to Kimelberg, the influence an individual’s personal experiences have in shaping how she defines the term urban contributes to a feedback loop, cementing “the idea that urban equals bad school and suburban equals good school.”

Research by Billingham and the Northeastern University sociologist Matthew Hunt is also cited in the Atlantic article.

WSU alumnus publishes article in philosophy journal

Daniel Saunders, a 2018 WSU graduate, published an article in the latest issue of Stance, a peer-reviewed journal of undergraduate philosophical research. Daniel's article, "Durkheim's Relational Account of Social Ontology," examines the ontological underpinnings of the work of the great French social theorist Emile Durkheim. Daniel wrote the original draft of this article as his final essay in Chase Billingham's Sociological Theory class at WSU. Daniel is currently a graduate student studying philosophy at York University in Toronto. You can access Daniel's article here.