Teaching Sociology is published by the American Sociological Association and SAGE, DOI: 10.1177/0092055X11418686,


This article suggests that the way in to sociology may not always be through the front door. The authors demonstrate how students in a three-day campus diversity program develop a sociological imagination despite not having a formal affiliation with the sociology department. In particular, students demonstrate a move from color blindness into racial consciousness and a shift from individual prejudice into institutional privilege when understanding both diversity issues and their own personal biographies. In short, despite not knowing the phrase, they develop a sociological imagination. While the goal is not to diminish the significance of traditional sociology classrooms, the authors argue that programs like theirs may diminish resistance to learning about privilege and inequalities once students enter the classroom. Such programs may also have the benefit of attracting students to the discipline and creating a more welcoming environment for related programs and events on campus. It is one model of public sociology that other campus communities may mirror outside of the traditional classroom environment.


Gender and Sexuality | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology | Theory, Knowledge and Science