Susan Joann Ferguson Grinnell College
Susan Ferguson is Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College, where she has taught for almost 20 years. Ferguson regularly teaches Introduction to Sociology, and her critically acclaimed anthology, Mapping the Social Landscape: Readings in Sociology (McGraw-Hill, 2010) is used in introductory classes around the country. Ferguson also teaches courses on the family, medical sociology, the Sociology of the Body, and a new seminar on social inequality and identity. Ferguson has published in all of these areas, including the research collection, Breast Cancer: Society Shapes an Epidemic (with co-editor Anne Kasper, Palgrave, 2000), and Shifting the Center: Understanding Contemporary Families (McGraw-Hill, 2011). In addition, Ferguson is the General Editor for “Contemporary Family Perspectives,” which is a series of research monographs and short texts on the family (Sage Publications).
Ferguson, who grew up in a working class family in Colorado, still considers the Rocky Mountains to be her spiritual home. A first-generation college student, Ferguson was able to attend college with the help of scholarships, work study, and financial loans. She majored in Political Science and Spanish and also completed certificates of study in Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies. After working a couple of years for a large research grant sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, Ferguson entered graduate school and completed her master’s degree in sociology at Colorado State University and her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her areas of study are gender, family, women’s health, and pedagogy, but her primary enthusiasm is for teaching.