Emily Walton, assistant professor of sociology, completed her PhD at the University of Washington in 2009. In this interview, Walton describes how she found her passion and what the future holds for her field.
This Dartmouth Now series features four of the scholars who have joined Dartmouth’s Arts & Sciences faculty during the 2012-2013 academic year. The week’s headlines include:
Tuesday: Meet Dartmouth’s New Faculty (Part 2): Emily Walton
Arriving at Sociology: “Though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I came to sociology wanting to understand how individual behaviors are embedded in a social structure that can facilitate or constrain our actions. I now understand that to make real and lasting change that benefits individuals, we need to intervene to change the larger social opportunity structure. I want to understand what constitutes a cohesive social community, and the ways that being part of such a community might benefit the health of those who live there.”
On the Horizon: “Sociology has long anchored the study of race in a black-white paradigm. The substantial growth of an array of minority racial and ethnic groups in the United States is forcing scholars to re-evaluate some of our foundational theories. Personally, I hope to make a difference in the way we conceptualize residential segregation by investigating the multiple, complex reasons that people come to live with racially similar others.”
On Dartmouth: “My most outstanding time at Dartmouth has been in the classroom. The students here are incredible—engaged, confident, and well prepared. I love preparing for class and thinking about all the things the students will find interesting, as well as engaging in discussion with students who ask incredible questions and challenge us all to be better.”