When I took a sociology class in college I was immediately hooked. It was the first time I encountered subjects and social thinkers that dealt with what was going on in the world.
I grew up on Buffalo's East Side. I was a white kid in a predominantly black neighborhood. I went to Buffalo Public School #71, and then on to Hutch-Tech High School. When I took a sociology class in college I was immediately hooked. It was the first time I encountered subjects and social thinkers that dealt with what was going on in the world. I just lived through the the loss of local industrial jobs and continued white flight. However, when I look back on it, I feel like I was socially assembled for the field of sociology. My background provided me with unique insights to the workings of urban society. Sociology allowed me to connect the dots between contemporary society, social structures, and the past.
My academic and research specialty is in the sub-fields of cultural and political sociology, with an emphasis on the embodiment of political culture, citizenship, and the importance of volunteerism. I came to D'Youville in 2008 and began teaching sociology right after completion of my PhD in sociology at the University at Albany (SUNY). There, I was the recipient of the university-wide distinguished dissertation award for my research on how struggles over black political representation during the civil rights movement continued to shape black political struggles for equality. I've published a few articles on the topic of bodies and citizenship and am presenting trying to publish a book on the subject.
At D'Youville, I've expanded my research to include how the white response to the civil rights movement created the pretext for white support for the neoliberal turn in American politics. I've begun a new research project on urban revitalization in Buffalo that focuses on the overlapping role of the voluntary sector and local art worlds. I draw from mixed methodologies – in-depth interviews, ethnography, statistics, and historical-discursive – to assess how local residents have spearheaded an unprecedented and unexpected revival of the city.
The type of student who would thrive in D'Youville's sociology program is one who is interested in culture and politics, and wants to work within the community. Sociology emphasizes creativity and problem solving, not the strict memorization of concepts and definitions. In our program, students apply what they learn and link it to existing empirical realities.
Randolph Hohle, PhD
Assistant Professor of Sociology