Sociology and Criminology

Dr. Stephen McNamee



Dr. Stephen McNamee

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1980 Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 1975 M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 1973 A.B. Rutgers University at Camden

 Specialty Areas

  • Social Inequality
  • Sociological Theory
  • Labor Force

I became a sociologist as a sign of the times. I was in college in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a time of rapid social change and social turmoil. The civil rights movement was reaching its zenith, the second wave of the women's movement and the green revolution were just beginning. Across the other side of the world, the Vietnam War was raging and had become very unpopular at home, especially on college campuses. At home, America had rediscovered poverty, especially rural and elderly poverty. Major social reforms such as Medicare and Food Stamps associated with "the Great Society" and "the War on Poverty" were just getting underway. The Beatles had landed. Cultural change was in air. Adolescent rebellion spilled over to the wider society as millions of baby boomers came of age. Traditional sex roles were being challenged. We had entered the "space age" with Mercury and Apollo programs and the landing of the first astronauts on the moon. Computers were just beginning to become prominent.

In the midst of all this rapid social change and attendant social unrest, I was a first generation, working class student trying to find my way. I was an "undeclared major" until late in my sophomore year when I discovered sociology. Among the various courses I took in various disciplines, the courses in sociology resonated most with me. The sociologists seemed to me to have a better handle on all the social change going on and I was desperate to "make sense" of it all. Place also mattered. I was a commuter student at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. Camden then and now has some of the worst urban blight in the United States. As college students at Rutgers Camden, we did not have to look far for examples of all manner of "social problems." Camden turned out to be eye opening social laboratory. I took a course on social stratification which seemed to tie all the elements of change together and I was hooked. I have been studying the causes and consequences of social inequality ever since.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Modern Social Problems
  • Organizations in Modern Society
  • Social Theory
  • Social Change
  • Social Classes
  • Sociology of Work and Occupations

Current Research Projects

  • Social Mobility in America
  • American and British Economic Elites

Course Syllabi

SOC 105: Introduction to Sociology

SOC/CRM 503: Sociological Theory

Current Service Activities

  • Editorial Board, Sociological Perspectives
  • Wilmington Kiwanis Club

Professional Associations

  • American Sociological Association
  • Southern Sociological Society
  • Mid-South Sociological Society
  • North Carolina Sociological Association
  • Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society

The Meritocracy Myth (3rd Edition)