Rewire: Public Spaces Helped Me Find My Identity as a Young Adult. What Do We Lose Without Them?
Jeffrey Debies-Carl, associate professor of sociology, comments on all things good about being in the public space.
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Fully vaccinated members of our University community will be able to immerse themselves in work and learning environments featuring pre-pandemics norms for class formats, student life, and other staples of the Charger experience.COVID-19 Info Fall 2021
Ph.D., Sociology, Ohio State University
M.A., Sociology, Ohio State University
B.A., Sociology/Anthropology, Kent State University
One foundational lesson of sociology is that context matters. My research builds on that principle by investigating the physical and virtual environments in which social life occurs. Whether they are tangible, digital, or increasingly a bit of both, the places around us are partly the product of social action and partly an influence on those actions. We create these environments based on our needs and desires but, once created, they can exert their own influence back on us. My work examines how they influence our feelings, thoughts, behaviors, social organization, and culture, as well as how these in turn shape the environment itself. To examine these processes, I use diverse methodologies ranging from quantitative applications to ethnographic methods. Substantively, I have examined the role of environmental context across a diverse range of specific topics. For example, my work has addressed many questions like the following:
My overarching goal in this research is to improve our understanding of the significance of the environment in everyday life and, in the process, invigorate sociology’s contributions to this interdisciplinary concern.
As an educator, it is my mission to cultivate and encourage the inherent drive to learn new things and apply these lessons to the world around us. I believe learning should not be a chore, that it should emphasize the relevance of lessons to our lives or other interests, and that whenever possible it should occur through experience. I teach a wide variety of courses, ranging from Introduction to Sociology and Social Psychology to Qualitative Methods and Simulations, to name a few examples. I am also an enthusiastic supporter of student research and am always pleased to advise, mentor, or otherwise encourage emerging researchers.
Practice with research is important to cultivate the ability to produce and not simply consume knowledge. However, experience with the methods and logic of scholarly inquiry are beneficial for everyone, not just aspiring researchers. A strong familiarity with these tools empowers us all by allowing us to evaluate critically whatever claims we hear and to make informed decisions in our everyday lives.
Huggins, Christopher M. and
Buettner, Cynthia K. and
Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. 2011. “Mapping the Residual Landscape: Abandonment, Dilapidation, and Ruin.” Environment, Space, Place 3(2): 51-81.
Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. and Christopher M. Huggins. 2009. “‘City Air Makes Free’: A Multi-Level, Cross-National Analysis of Self-Efficacy.” Social Psychology Quarterly 72(4): 343-64
Wranovix, Matthew, Jeffrey S. Debies-Carl, and Kathleen Mercury. 2019. “Catan” in Karen Schrier (Ed.). Learning, Education & Games: 100 Games to Use in the Classroom and Beyond. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University, ETC Press.
Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. 2017. “Pizzagate and Beyond: Using Social Research to Understand Conspiracy Legends.” Skeptical Inquirer 41(6): 34-7. (cover story).
Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. 2017. Ghostly Encounters: The Hauntings of Everyday Life by Dennis Waskul with Michele Waskul (Book Review). Contemporary Sociology 46(5): 612-3. (invited)
Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. 2010. The Idea of North by Peter Davidson (Book Review). Cultural Analysis 8: R8-9.
Debies-Carl, Jeffrey S. 2009. Black Rock: A Zuni Cultural Landscape and the Meaning of Place by William A. Dodge (Book Review). Western Folklore 69 (2/3): 303-5.See Full Resume Details See Less Full Resume Details