Pioneer Spotlight - Claudine Pied
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Dr. Claudine Pied, assistant professor of sociology at UW-Platteville, began teaching at UW-Platteville in fall 2013. She currently teaches Introductory Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology; Human Relations; Rural Sociology; and Women, Sex Roles, and Society.
Pied has a Ph.D. in anthropology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, N.Y. Her dissertation research focused on economic anthropology and the impact of economic decline upon a small town in Maine.
Can you please provide a brief summary of your background?
I have been teaching sociology and anthropology since 2003, having worked at several public and private colleges in New York, Maine and Massachusetts before coming to Platteville. This has given me the opportunity to work with a variety of students with different interests, life experiences and career goals.
The focus of my research and writing has been on response to structural change in small communities in the United States. For my dissertation, I conducted qualitative research on growing class-based divisions in a central Maine town trying to adapt to the loss of manufacturing industries. I have also started a new research project on the changes in timberland ownership and access in the same region in Maine.
What do you enjoy most about teaching Introductory Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology; Human Relations; Rural Sociology; and Women, Sex Roles and Society?
Central to most of the courses I teach are questions that urge us to examine and rethink the world and our place in it. This can be an uncomfortable process at times, particularly when we are asked to think about our own roles in reproducing social inequalities, but it is also very rewarding. The courses also ask students to relate complex ideas about culture, society, race, class and gender to their own lives and experiences, so each semester I get to learn about their stories, ideas and interpretations.
What qualities do your students possess that have impressed you the most?
I have had many dedicated students in my classes who work hard and are committed to doing well in their courses, often while balancing the many demands from their classes, work and family. I have been particularly impressed with their ability to express creative and introspective ideas in writing. I always look forward to reading their papers and learning more about how they have processed the course material.
How do you hope your classes help prepare students for their careers and life in general?
Sociology and anthropology can prepare students for careers in public policy, social work, public health, education, and international development. Class activities, though, also translate well to many different careers: distilling complicated theory into clear points, articulating and defending ideas, writing in a variety of different formats and learning from disagreements with classmates. I also hope students become more aware of and open to differences in ways of thinking and living around the globe. This is important knowledge as careers become increasingly shaped by global connections. More generally, though, I hope students take with them inquisitiveness and a desire to more deeply understand and solve problems.
Interview conducted by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education.
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