Can you still connect with people in a meaningful way when you can’t be physically present? How does technology offer both benefits and challenges at a time when we are physically distant from people we care about? What parts of our usual relationship patterns do we lose, and what parts remain? Sociologists study human social behavior and the ways that technology shapes us, and is shaped by us, in our everyday lives. This talk will explore ways that our social “connectivity” has been impacted by the pandemic.


Michelle Janning
Professor of Sociology and The Raymond and Elsie Gipson DeBurgh Chair of Social Science

Michelle Janning is a professor of sociology who teaches courses in family, education and community-based sociology. Her research explores how personal relationships and family roles are connected to objects, spaces and technology in our everyday lives.

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COVID-19: A Liberal Arts Approach to the Study of a Global Pandemic was created in the spring of 2020 as a special one-credit course for Whitman College’s most newly admitted students, offering them an opportunity to get to know our distinguished faculty and to study a significant event in human history.