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Department ofSociology


Vas Kumar '21

"Sociology’s emphasis on challenging power structures and inequalities, reinvigorated my passion for social justice."

"My time at Santa Clara is marked by deep appreciation and gratitude for the Sociology Department. From the very first courses, my professors provided me with tools to view the world more critically. These tools, along with sociology’s emphasis on challenging power structures and inequalities, reinvigorated my passion for social justice. It is in this spirit that I applied for the Hackworth Fellowship at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, in which I am researching the impacts of racialized surveillance in smart cities.

In my position as a Hackworth Fellow, I will soon be interviewing individuals in San Jose about their perspectives and experiences on race and surveillance. This endeavor would not have been possible without practice and insights from Professor Molly King’s class on qualitative research methods, and I’m excited to put my lessons to the test. Additionally, coursework throughout my time in the department has enabled me to rigorously analyze race and inequality. I’m extremely grateful for the frameworks I’ve learned in my classes in order to untangle and better understand social relations, oppression, and injustice in a critical and compelling manner.

The Sociology Department has empowered me to pursue my interests in a variety of ways. My work with former adjunct lecturer Dr. Katia Moles in assisting with her research helped me explore the inner workings of social scientific research and publishing. I’m currently also learning practical applications of statistical analyses in a project under the guidance of Dr. Molly King whose mentorship has been invaluable as I develop advanced sociological and data science skills.

I’m deeply thankful to all faculty in the department for my education and development over the past few years. My passion for social justice and building a better world is what initially drew me to sociology. The department complements this passion for action with a critical sociological perspective that has forever changed how I perceive the world around me."

--Vas Kumar '21 (Sociology major, Ethnic Studies and Math minors)