Christopher M. Whitsel, Ph.D.

Department Chair of Sociology and Anthropology
Associate Professor of Sociology

Office: Minard Hall 428C16
Telephone: 701.231.5846

Selected Publications

Whitsel, Christopher M. 2014. “Parental Choices in the Educational Market in Dushanbe, Tajikistan” European Education: Issues and Studies 46:53-73.

 Whitsel, Christopher M. & Kate Lapham. 2014. “Increasing Programme Effectiveness through Parent Empowerment: The Getting Ready for School Project in Tajikistan” International Journal of Early Years Education 22:105-116.

Whitsel, Christopher M. & Shodibek Qodirov. 2013. “Выйти Из Тени: Как Родители Помогают Инклюзивному Образованию В Таджикистане (Out of the Shadows: how parents help inclusive education in Tajikistan)” Журнал Исследований Социальной Политики (Journal of Social Policy Studies) 11:471-482.

Mudzongo, Courage & Whitsel, Christopher. 2013. “Determinants Of Child Labor In Malawi And Tanzania” Journal of Community Positive Practices, 13: 3-24.

Whitsel, Christopher M. 2012. “Sex, Urban/Rural, and Minority Differences in Educational Attainment in Soviet and Post-Soviet Tajikistan.” International Studies of Sociology of Education 22:19-39.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, Indiana University, 2009
  • M.A. Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University, 2006
  • M.A., Sociology, Indiana University, 2004
  • B.A., Social Sciences, Bethel College, 1998

Dr. Christopher M. Whitsel joined the department of Sociology and Anthropology in fall of 2009.

His research interests stem from his life experiences in Russia as an exchange student and in Uzbekistan as a volunteer teaching English. He witnessed first-hand significant differences in family, government structure, economic circumstances, school organization and many other aspects of social life.  The whole society was experiencing tremendous changes because of the collapse of the Soviet Union. His research is part of his continuing effort to understand the effects of post-Soviet transition on the society.

His research focus has been education and inequality of access in post-Soviet Central Asia. More specifically, his work highlights barriers that families face in sending their children to school and the ways that community differences constrain their decisions. In addition to his academic endeavors, Dr. Whitsel has worked with international organizations like UNICEF-Tajikistan on projects about social aspects of poverty and the Soros Foundation on projects with early childhood education in Tajikistan.  

Dr. Whitsel spent the 2013-2015 academic years on leave working at a newly founded university in Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev University, to develop their sociology program. 

Research and Teaching Specializations
  • International-Comparative Sociology
  • Research Methods
  • Stratification/ Inequality
  • Sociology of Education
  • Central Eurasia
Resources for Social Research in Central Asia

-Informed Consent Templates: Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Tajik
-Fieldwork Planning Resources
-Household and Community Data Sets

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