Kyle Longest completed his undergraduate degree in history and sociology at Indiana University and earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research centers on understanding how teens make the transition out of high school, focusing on substance use, religion and academic behaviors.

Dr. Longest's work has appeared in journals such as Social Forces, Journal of Marriage and Family, Society and Mental Health, and Work and Occupations. He currently teaches courses on deviance, religion, research methods, quantitative analysis, the sociology of Harry Potter, and sports analytics.

Name Title Description


The World through ESPN Films

This course will analyze the social world through the lens of the ESPN documentary series 30 for 30. It will use the films as a foundation, in connection with key readings, to address significant current social problems and concerns. It will cover a wide range of topics, such as drug cartels, higher education, gender equity, and the economic impact of sports. Students will connect key theories from the social sciences to the issues presented in the films. Students will explore arguments and create their own through a series of guided writing assignments that will introduce them to college-level writing.


Sociology of Harry Potter

The first segment will center on using the world of Harry Potter as a lens to illustrate and examine sociological theories, concepts, and issues, such as race, class, gender, and religion. The second segment will then investigate whether and how the Harry Potter series, as a social phenomenon, has impacted some of these issues in the real world. [Having read (a majority of) the HP book series is expected before taking this course.]


Applied Sports Analytics

An examination that will focus on developing and evaluating statistical tools for analyzing various aspects of sports. Will investigate the increasing use of and concurrent resistance to analytics in sports. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.


Discovering Greatness

Explore the limits of human potential by investigating what makes people great. The course will focus first on studying the characteristics and traits of greatness by studying notable historical and cultural leaders in a variety of domains. Next, it will seek to understand how we can apply those lessons to our lives to become extraordinary. Students will have the freedom to direct their pursuits towards greatness in several different domains including academic, leadership, business, athletic, and health. May Experience ONLY.


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.


Social Problems

Analysis of current social problems and social policies: the definitions and causes of problems as well as the efficacy and feasibility of proposed solutions.


Deviance and Social Control

Examination of the different perspectives on how deviance is defined, factors that contribute to the likelihood of individuals being deviant, and finally, the forces that may prevent deviance. In discussing these three conceptual areas this class will deal with several classic as well as current substantive topics in the study of deviance, such as school shootings, bachelorette parties, gangs, soccer hooligans, Ponzi schemes, drug use in college, teen deviance, bankruptcy, and the Mafia.


Sociology of Religion

Analysis of the role of religion, as an institution, in the social world. Focus will be at both the organizational, how religious groups form and grow, and the individual, how religion may influence or impact particular behaviors, levels. Most of the substantive material will center on religion in the United States, although some discussions of other contexts, as a comparison, will be made. This course will not address the philosophical truth or validity of particular religious beliefs.


Methods of Social Research

Introduction to the basic techniques of social research including both quantitative and qualitative methods. Focus will be on strategies for conducting effective and valid research, as well as evaluating and critiquing social research. Team-based research projects are developed which are then completed in SOC-303


Quantitative Research Seminar

Continuing introduction to basic techniques of statistics including descriptive and inferential statistics with an emphasis on the application and critical consumption of statistics. Completion of quantitative research project begun in SOC 302.


Sociology Seminar

Advanced reading, research and discussion course for covering a specific topic in Sociology. Topics vary by professor and could include such topics as Organized Deviance: Terrorists, the Mafia and Genocidal States or Environmental Sociology. This course requires an independent or collaborative research project. May be repeated for credit based on change of topic.


Summer Undergraduate Research

  • Smith, Christian, Jonathan Hill, Kyle C. Longest, Kari Christofferson. (In Press). Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Longest, Kyle C. 2011. Using Stata for Quantitative Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Kim, Phillip H. and Kyle C. Longest. (In Press). “You Can't Leave Your Work Behind: Employment Experience and Founding Collaborations.” Journal of Business Venturing.
  • Longest, Kyle C., Steve Hitlin, and Stephen Vaisey. 2013. “Position and Disposition: The Contextual Development of Human Values.” Social Forces.
  • Kim, Phillip H., Kyle C. Longest, and Howard Aldrich. 2013. “Can You Lend Me a Hand? Task-Role Alignment of Social Support for Aspiring Business Owners” Work and Occupations.
  • Longest, Kyle C. and Peggy Thoits. 2012.“Gender, The Stress Process and Physical Health: A Configurational Approach.” Society and Mental Health. 2: 187 – 206.
  • Kolb, Ken, Kyle C. Longest and Mollie Jenson. 2012. “Assessing the Writing Process: Do Writing-Intensive First-Year Seminars Change How Students Write?” Teaching Sociology 41: 20 – 31.
  • Longest, Kyle C. and Christian Smith. 2011. “Conflicting or Compatible: Beliefs about Religion and Science among Emerging Adults in the U.S.” Sociological Forum 26: 846 – 869.
  • Longest, Kyle C. and Stephen Vaisey. 2008. “Control or Conviction: Religion and Adolescent Initiation of Marijuana Use.” Journal of Drug Issues 38: 689 – 716.
  • Longest, Kyle C. and Stephen Vaisey. 2008. “Fuzzy: A Program for Performing Qualitative Comparative Analyses (QCA) in Stata.” Stata Journal 8: 79 - 104.
  • Longest, Kyle C. and Michael J. Shanahan. 2007. “Adolescent Work Intensity and Substance Use: The Mediational and Moderational Role of Parents.” Journal of Marriage and Family 69: 703 – 720.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Indiana University

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