Richard A. Farnum Jr. is associate professor of sociology in the Liberal Arts division at the University of the Arts. He graduated from Princeton in 1972, where he took an honors degree in sociology. He subsequently took his doctoral degree at Penn, where he studied with Talcott Parsons and Digby Baltzell. In 1980, Farnum joined the part-time faculties of Penn and the then Philadelphia College of Art. He has been teaching full-time at UArts since 1985.
Professor Farnum’s teaching at the University is concerned generally with different aspects of culture and their social effects. His regular courses include Science, Sociology, and Society (the nature of sociology as a science), Individual and Society (how social forces affect individual behavior), Modern Culture (the social effects of popular culture), and American Social Values (core American beliefs and their consequences). He has also taught Sociology of Art and Western Culture. At present, he is developing a new course, The Good Life, which will examine conceptions of the idea of the “good” across societies.
Professor Farnum’s earlier research interests focused on the history of higher education: sources of institutional prestige, relations between universities and class structure, and comparative admissions policies. In this vein his publications included “Elite College Discrimination and the Limits of Conflict Theory” (1997), “Penn’s Road Not Taken” (1996), “Prestige in the Ivy League” (1990) and “The American Upper Class and Higher Education” (1989). Later, in “On Ressentiment as a Motive Force in Sociological Research” (2002), he turned his attention to the ideological orientation of sociologists.
At present, Farnum’s research interests center on the nature of the arts university, its faculty, students and curriculum. His current project is an investigation of the historical meanings of liberal arts education to clarify its contemporary role in an arts university. He is also planning a study of political and social attitudes among art school students and faculty.
Class Schedule, Fall 2013
|TH||10:00AM - 12:50PM||Individual & Society|
|T||10:00AM - 12:50PM||SIFT: Case Studies in Socio|
|TH||01:00PM - 03:50PM||SIFT: Case Studies in Socio|