Sociology department hosts first ever book launch

The book launch took place at the University's Lecture Hall. Photo courtesy of Kirk Johnson

On Oct. 13, the Sociology department hosted an event to launch four books published by different Sociology classes within the past four semesters.

Kirk Johnson, Ph.D., professor of sociology, was eager to showcase the hard work of all 63 students involved.

“We’ve been doing publications in Sociology for some time,” Johnson said. “[The book launch] was a celebration of the student’s work and the support that their families give them.”

According to Johnson, the formation of the idea to publish a book began in Spring 2016, when he was so impressed with the quality of work his students put into their essays for the class.

“We needed to have others see this,” Johnson said.

The class collectively decided to compile their essays into a book. During subsequent semesters, his other classes followed suit.

Johnson stressed the amount of support he received from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and its dean, James Sellmann.

“The big picture is to find creative ways to support the students in their work beyond the classroom,” Johnson said. “In sociology, we have so many opportunities for students.”

According to Kabrini Muna, sociology teaching assistant and event coordinator, this type of event is a first for the department.

At the launch, students selected representatives to talk about their process of writing and editing, and read excerpts from each book.

The first book, Making Sense of Change: Island Insights & Sociological Perspectives, was written by the SO360 class in Spring 2016.

In Search of Meaning: Island Insights and Sociological Perspectives on Religion and Faith in the 21st Century was written by the SO480 class in Fall 2016.

The SO360 class in Spring 2017 wrote Hinanao Hinemlo’: Navigating the Seas of Change: Our Courageous Journey Home.

Stairs, Prayers, and a Thousand Temples: Advancing Understanding of Core Concepts of Community Development in the Pacific Asia Region was written by the SO405 class in Spring 2017.

The SO405 class took a trip to Bali to conduct a field study and wrote their book in the style of a travel journal.

A vlog of their trip can be found on YouTube titled Stairs, Prayers, & a Thousand Temples // Bali Field School 2017 // Vlog.

The $300 made from book sales at the event was sent to a non-governmental association (NGO) working to support refugees in Bali.

Now, the books are available for purchase through the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division Office. The proceeds will go towards future Bali field schools.

David Atienza, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology and Micronesian studies, gave a special presentation at the event.

Atienza shared what he believes are the four things you need when publishing: patience, humility, poverty, and love.

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