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James Hougland

Research Interests:
Sociology of Organizations
Industry in Community Context
Education and Society
Evaluation Research

Ph.D., Indiana University, 1976


Professor Hougland’s interests include sociology of organizations, industry in community context, education and society, voluntary sector research, and evaluation research. He is committed to applying sociological insights and research methodologies to assist with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data useful for educational and public policy decisions.  Current and recently completed research that is reflective of this commitment includes an ongoing analysis of public perceptions of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA), an evaluation of a program (funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technology Education program) designed to develop expertise and employability in the area of information technology, collaboration in an evaluation of a program (funded by the National Science Foundation) to encourage the pursuit of science-related (STEM) degrees by Appalachian and minority students, and collaboration in an evaluation of a program at West Virginia University (funded by NSF ADVANCE) to enhance faculty development in STEM and and social/behavioral science disciplines..

Selected Publications:

Dr. Hougland’s most recent work appears in Journal of Applied Social Science, Journal of Applied Sociology, International Journal of Educational Reform, Sociological Focus, and two edited collections—Doing Sociology: Case Studies in Sociological Practice (J. Price, R. Straus, and J. Breese, editors; Lexington Books, 2010) and Japan in the Bluegrass (P.P. Karan, editor; University Press of Kentucky, 2001).

Additional Information

Professor Hougland is Past Chair (2001-02) of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sociological Practice and Past President of the Society for Applied Sociology (now the Association of Applied and Clinical Sociology).  He also served as an elected member of the Commission on Applied and Clinical Sociology.  Prior to his retirement, Dr. Hougland’s regular teaching responsibilities included the sociology of organizations and sociological research methods.