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Marcia Hernandez

Associate Dean, the College and Associate Professor of Sociology


Phone: 209.946.2100


WPC 117


PhD, Sociology, University at Albany- SUNY, 2007

Certificate in Women and Public Policy, University at Albany, 1999

BA, Sociology, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1994

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

All of my courses are organized around the belief that student-centered learning is an avenue towards student empowerment. Sometimes the class day entails a formal lecture, other days include student debates or presentations, analyzing social media sites, viewing a documentary, or students working in small groups on a project. In my courses I assign a variety of "texts" including academic books and journal articles, opinion pieces, documentaries and autobiographic pieces for analysis. I ask that students take ownership of their educational experience by thinking critically about race, gender and class privilege and inequality, across groups and within individual relationships. For sociologists, critical thinking means more than being critical of an author's position or disagreeing with a speaker because their experience is different from one's own. Critical thinking is the skill of asking difficult questions about stratification, power and privilege, and being open to hearing answers that might make one uncomfortable from a variety of sources. I ask students to think critically about whom most often benefits from living in a society structured on social inequality and which groups are likely affected by the current structural arrangements. To this end students are encouraged to use their sociological imagination to consider alternatives to the existing structures of power, privilege and entitlement in the United States. 

Scholarly Interest

Race and Ethnicity, Sex and Gender, Sociology of Education, Sociology of Culture, African American Sororities and Fraternities, Qualitative Methods


SOCI 177 Theories of Culture and Society
SOCI 141 Prejudice and Racism
SOCI 127 Family and Marriage
SOCI 123 Sex and Gender
PACS 2 You've Got Class
PACS 2 Media and Social Class