Sociology and Criminology







Dr. Jean-Anne Sutherland | Bear Hall 220 | 910.962.4170



*Curriculum Vitae

  • 2006 Ph.D. Sociology, University of Akron
  • 1999 M.A. Sociology, University of Akron
  • 1995 M.A. Humanistic Psychology, University of West Georgia
  • 1991 B.A. English, Georgia State University

Specialty Areas

Sociology of Mothering

  • Mothering, guilt, and shame
  • Formerly incarcerated mothers

Sociology Through Film

  • Women, power, and feminism in film
  • Pedagogical considerations  

Courses Taught:


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology Through Film
  • Social Psychology
  • Gender and Society
  • Sociology of Family
  • Sociological Theory


  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Pro-Seminar

Current Research Projects:

  • Mothering, guilt and shame: Considering race and social class
  • Formerly incarcerated mothers

Professional Associations

  • American Sociological Association (Section: Sex and Gender)
  • North Central Sociological Association
  • Southern Sociological Association

On becoming a sociologist:

My road to sociology has been a rather wacky route.  In my early 20’s, with no college plans, I found myself working, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes one or the other, in various restaurants/bars, and the coolest record store ever.  Let me say that working in a record store in the early 80’s was the best.  We experienced the birth of MTV and CD’s. And, well, big hair.  I also saw myself as an actor and performed in many community theatre productions.  At some point I thought, gads, I think I need something that looks more like a career. I started community college and fell completely in love with learning.  Working full-time though meant that this would be long haul.  I moved to Atlanta and graduated from Georgia State University with a BA in English (emphasis on literature), with a minor in film. Faced with the “what now?” question I decided more schooling sounded logical.  I headed over to West Georgia and earned a degree in Humanistic Psychology. There I was given the chance to teach a class on Relationships (more on that later).  I moved to Ohio and secured a job working as a mental health therapist in nursing homes and rehab centers. My Humanistic Psychology degree provided me myriad ways to talk to people experiencing dementia, or just the process of aging in a nursing home.  A very rewarding job but, one that still did not feel final.  I thought back on that class I taught.  Unaware then of the notion of micro/meso/macro levels of society, I realized I’d actually constructed my class that way.  I included in the course ways in which larger social forces impacted relationships.  I’ll be darned, I said, I am not a psychologist at heart, I am a sociologist. There you go.  While in graduate school at University of Akron I gave birth to my daughter.  I began talking to other moms and was amazed at how frequently feelings of guilt and shame were discussed, as if it were a given for mothers.   Overwhelmed with the work/family pull myself (e.g., guilt), I knew my dissertation would focus on the struggles and joys of motherhood.  I have continued this line of research, now considering how these social psychological emotions vary by race and social class.  In addition, I am involved in a project exploring the experiences of formerly incarcerated mothers who work towards renewed relationships with their children.  And, that BA minor in film?  Well, it too came in handy when I was asked to teach “Sociology through Film” while in graduate school.  A colleague and I noticed that there was no sociology text on the subject, so we edited one.  Thus, I accidently fell into that area as well.  In sum, that wacky route now make sense and led me here.  Even the record store gig.  The stories give me cred with my kid.