Christopher M. Whitsel

Professor of Sociology

Office: Minard Hall 428C16
Telephone: 701.231.5846

Dr. Whitsel's CV

  • 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
Selected Publications

Whitsel, Christopher M and Martha Merrill. (2021) “Towards Building a Culturally-Informed Consent Process in Central Asia” at Central Asian Survey

Whitsel, Christopher M. (2020) “Parents’ Perspectives on the Educational Market in Central Asia”  Globalization on the Margins: Education and Post-socialist Transformations in Central Asia 2nd edition. Iveta Silova and Sarfaroz Niyozov editors.  Information Age Publishing: Charlotte: N.C. (pgs. 293-314).

Whitsel, Christopher M. & Barbara Junisbai, Azamat Junisbai. (2019). “Polarization during Institutional Decline: Variation in Educational Attainment in Post-Soviet Central Asia in 1991-2006” European Education 51: 186-211.

Martha Merrill and Christopher M. Whitsel. 2017. “Intercultural Barriers of Intuitional Research Boards”  Reimagining Utopias: Theory and Method for Educational Research in Post-Socialist Contexts. Iveta Silova, Noah W. Sobe, Alla Korzh & Serhiy Kovalchuk, Eds. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (pgs.141-161)

Whitsel, Christopher M. 2017. “Missing Pieces: Factors Affecting Girls’ School Attendance in Tajikistan” in Educational Policies in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan: Contested Terrain in the Twenty-First Century. Dilshad Ashraf, Mir Afzal Tajik, & Sarfaroz Niyozov Eds. Lexington Books: NewYork.



Research Interests

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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