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Royce A. Singleton, Jr.

Autobiographical Sketch

When asked what I do for a living, I say that I am a college professor; when I elaborate, I almost always say, first, that I am a social psychologist. I majored in psychology as an undergraduate, and in graduate school in sociology, I gravitated toward the “micro” side of the discipline. My master's thesis, based on a 1968 survey, examined selective exposure to and selective perception of the earliest television programs with black stars, including “I Spy” with Bill Cosby. My dissertation research was an experimental study of the group polarization of attitudes. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate education, I took several courses in probability and statistics. I had the opportunity to teach a course in race relations as a graduate student at Indiana University. Then in my initial full-time position at the University of California, Riverside, I taught social psychology, small group processes, research methods, and statistics.

These early research and teaching experiences shaped my academic interests throughout my career. I have co-authored two books, a monograph on racial oppression and a textbook on research methods. My published articles deal mostly with issues in social psychology and methodology and are based on both experimental and survey research. I taught at Holy Cross for 32 years, retiring in 2009. Being at a liberal arts college dedicated to teaching excellence, I devoted much time both to the development of my own teaching and to the promotion of teaching and undergraduate education. I was a longstanding member of the Section on Undergraduate Education of the American Sociological Association, and I have contributed several articles to, reviewed manuscripts and books for, and served from 1989 to 1992 as associate editor of the journal Teaching Sociology. As a social scientist at a small college, I frequently advised students and colleagues on research projects; I also participated in the evaluation of various college programs. In the mid-1990s, for example, I conducted an extensive evaluation of the Holy Cross First-Year Program (see the article in Change). In 1999-2000, I chaired the College's Steering Committee on Reaccreditation, which was responsible for an extensive institutional self-study.

At Holy Cross, my two principal courses were social psychology and methods of social research.  I taught social statistics regularly until the mid-1980s, when the Department eliminated statistics as an optional major requirement. In addition, I offered an advanced-level course in small group processes about every other year; until the mid-1990s occasionally taught race and ethnic relations; and in fall 1998 introduced a course in the sociology of sport that I taught regularly until my retirement.

During my last decade at the College, students enrolled in my methods class conducted a survey of the Holy Cross student body as a class project. A Web site summarizes the findings from each of 11 different surveys, on topics ranging from voluntarism to politics to religious beliefs and practices. I encourage students, faculty, and anyone else interested in learning about Holy Cross students to visit the Web site ( You also can learn more about this project from an article that appeared in Teaching Sociology (Volume 35, January 2007, pp. 48-61).

I have remained active professionally in several ways since my retirement. Currently I serve on the editorial board of Sociological Perspectives, official journal of the Pacific Sociological Association, and on the Institutional Review Board at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. During the past year I have reviewed manuscripts for several journals and reviewed a film for Teaching Sociology. I completed work on the international edition of my methods textbook in January 2010 and am now writing a chapter on survey interviewing.

Selected Publications

with Jonathan H. Turner and David M. Musick, Oppression: A Sociohistory of Black-White Relations in America, Nelson-Hall, 1984.

with Bruce C. Straits, Approaches to Social Research, 5th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2010.

with James R. Kluegel and Charles E. Starnes, “Subjective Class Identification:  A Multiple Indicator Approach,” American Sociological Review, 42, August, 1977:599-611.

with Jonathan H. Turner, “A Theory of Ethnic Oppression:  Toward a Re- integration of Cultural and Structural Concepts in Ethnic Relations Theory,” Social Forces, 56, June, 1978:1001-18.

with Victoria L. Swigert and Stephen C. Ainlay, “The Social Science Research Center at an Undergraduate College:  Lessons from the Worcester Area Project on Aging,” Teaching Sociology, 21, July, 1993:298-305.

with Robert H. Garvey and Gary A. Phillips, “Connecting the Academic and Social Lives of Students:  The Holy Cross First-Year Program,” Change, 30, May/June, 1998:18-25.

with Bruce C. Straits, “Survey Interviewing,” pp. 59-82 in Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein, eds., Handbook of Interview Research: Context and Method, Sage, 2002.

with John A. Schmalzbauer, “Keeping Faith: A Religious Profile of Holy Cross Students,” Holy Cross Magazine, 37, Winter, 2003:22-7.

“The Campus Survey: Integrating Pedagogy, Scholarship, and Evaluation,” Teaching Sociology, 35, January, 2007:48-61.

“Collegiate Alcohol Consumption and Academic Performance,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68, July, 2007:548-55.

with Jessica Vacca, “Interpersonal Competition in Friendships,” Sex Roles, 57, November, 2007:617-27.

with Susan Crawford Sullivan, “Voluntarism at Holy Cross,” Holy Cross Magazine, 42, Spring, 2008:26-7.

with Amy R. Wolfson, “Alcohol Consumption, Sleep, and Academic Performance among College Students,” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70, May, 2009:355-363.

Contact Information

Royce A. Singleton, Jr.
6 Slipper Hill Lane
Jefferson, MA 01522
508 829-6546