In his current research, Ken Kolb is studying what it is like to live in a "food desert." He has conducted 100 in-depth interviews in the nearby neighborhoods of Southernside and West Greenville to understand how residents manage the lack of healthy food options in the area. 

For a preview of his findings, see his article in the Spring 2016 edition of the Furman Magazine.SomeEarthlyIdea.pdfSomeEarthlyIdea.pdf.

His last project culminated in the book, Moral Wages: The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling, an ethnographic study of what it is like to work inside ​an agency that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  

Moral Wages was the recipient of the 2015 Most Outstanding Recent Contribution in Social Psychology Award from the American Sociological Association.

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Name Title Description


Academic Autobiography

Systematically investigate one's life story and communicate to others, through clear, concise, and well-organized arguments, how the individual biography fits into a larger context. Learn to analyze life based on empirical observations on race, class, and gender. Use methods for collecting and analyzing information from places, events, and people around the writer's childhood circumstances. Students will tailor their story to an academic audience and practice giving and receiving feedback.


Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to the sociological perspective on human behavior, including an analysis of theory, research methods, culture, society, personality, the socialization process, social institutions and social change.


Sociology of Food Systems

Analysis of the local food system from a sociological perspective. Local food production, distribution, and consumption trends today. Devleop a better understanding of how individual tastes and habits are heavily influenced by a much larger social system often hidden from view. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.


Public Sociology

Training in community based research methods. Students will learn how to collect and analyze data regarding a specific problem facing the local community. They also will assess the needs of community members and analyze them in relation to past and present social trends.




Sociology of Gndr & Sexuality

Analysis of the role of gender in society. Exploration of the ways gender differences are culturally reproduced transforming male and female biology into masculinity and femininity. Historical and cross-cultural examples are examined as well as a discussion of the nature/nurture debate. Consideration of the influences of the family, media and language are included. Additional attention is paid to the role of gender in the social institutions (e.g., education, work, health care).


Race and Ethnic Relations

An exploration of racial, ethnic and religious minorities in United States and around the world. Topic covered include: race" and social identities; stigmatization and prejudice; inter-group cooperation


Self and Society

Examination of the self at the intersection of the individual and society with particular attention to the interdependent nature of micro-level interactions and macro-level structures and institutions. Exploration of how sociologists understand the relationship between the self and society, surveying the fields of symbolic interactionism, social structure and personality, ethnomethodology, role theory, social exchange theory, phenomenology, social constructionism, and the life course.


Sociological Theory

Philosophical and historical influences on and contemporary orientations in sociological theory. The sociological approach to knowledge is compared to that of the other sciences and the humanities.


Qualitative Research Seminar

Advanced reading, research and discussion course for majors covering a specific topic in sociology. Topics vary by professor and term and could include such topics as Subcultures and Alternative Lifestyles, The Built Environment or Ethnography of Everyday Life. Special emphasis on qualitative methodology. This course requires an independent or collaborative research project.


Issues in Women & Gender Stds

Focus on both classical and contemporary issues in Women's and Gender Studies. Survey of feminist theory and historical developments in the women's movement, it provides a foundation for the understanding of contemporary women's issues, including education, family, health, religion, economics and politics.

Kolb, Kenneth H. 2014. Moral Wages: The Emotional Dilemmas of Victim Advocacy and Counseling.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press


Kolb, Kenneth H., Kyle C. Longest, Alexa J. Singer. 2015. “Choosing Not to Cheat: A Framework to Assess Students’ Rationales for Abiding by Academic Integrity Policies.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 9(1):    Article 9. 

Kolb, Kenneth H. 2014 “Emotional Subcultures.” Sociology Compass, 8(11): 1229-1441.

Kolb, Kenneth H., Kyle C. Longest, and Jenna C. Barnett. 2014. “Intellectual Curiosity in Action: A Framework to Assess First-Year Seminars in Liberal Arts Settings.” The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(2): 131-156.

Kolb, Kenneth H., Kyle C. Longest; Mollie Jensen. 2013.  “Assessing the Writing Process: Do Writing-Intensive First-Year Seminars Change How Students Write?” Teaching Sociology, 41(1):20-31

Kolb, Kenneth H. “Victim-advocates’ Perceptions of Legal-work.” 2011. Violence Against Women, 17(12):1559-1575.

Kleinman, Sherryl; and Kenneth H. Kolb. “Traps on the Path of Analysis.” 2011. Symbolic Interaction, 34(4):425-446

Kolb, Kenneth H. 2011. “Claiming Competence: Biographical Work among Victim-Advocates and Counselors.”  Symbolic Interaction, 34(1):86-107

Kolb, Kenneth H. 2011. “Sympathy Work: Identity and Emotion Management among Victim-advocates and Counselors.” Qualitative Sociology, 34(1):101-119

Kolb, Kenneth H. 2007. “Supporting our Black men”: Reproducing Male Privilege in a Black Student Political Organization.” Sociological Spectrum, 27(3):257-274​

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