HSOC Faculty Profile: Meet Assistant Professor Kate Pride Brown

Posted April 19, 2022

Assistant Professor Kate Pride Brown (soon to be an associate professor) joined the faculty in the School of History and Sociology in 2016.

She teaches Introduction to Sociology, Environmental Sociology, Globalization in the Modern World, Social Theory and Structure, and graduate-level Social Theory. 

Brown's research focuses on social and environmental sustainability and the power dynamics that influence it. Read more about her interests inside and out of the classroom in our faculty Q&A! 


1. Who or what inspired you to pursue sociology? 

I often say that I became a sociologist because I was the richest person at my school and the poorest person in my neighborhood. Because of that, I was never able to rest comfortably on assumptions that some people make about other people who are not like them. At a young age, it was easy for me to see how differently people lived and to understand that these differences were not just due to individual attributes.  


2. Why did you decide to teach at Georgia Tech, and what's the best part about working here? 

I love teaching at Georgia Tech. The students are extremely smart, very diligent, committed, and hard-working. While I know most of them are not here to study the liberal arts, I feel like I am making a difference by giving these STEM-focused students a sociological perspective. It will serve them all their lives, no matter where they go or what they do.

And being a part of Ivan Allen College (IAC) is also rewarding. We have the resources and opportunities of a world-class university, but IAC is sufficiently small within Georgia Tech that we can still really get to know our students and give them personal attention. 


3. What do you research, and what is the goal of your work? What do you hope to change with it? 

I study social and environmental sustainability, giving special attention to power. Whether I am looking at authoritarianism in Russia or regulated utilities in the United States, I aim to uncover how power is deployed to enhance or thwart sustainability and the outcomes of different power relationships.

I suppose in my grandest vision, I hope to recalibrate how people understand power itself, so that they can better articulate how certain actions change the balance of power. Ideally, if we have a better understanding of power, we can create institutions with better checks and balances to allow for a more flourishing public sphere.  


4. What are your hobbies and favorite things to do outside of work? 

I dance ballet. I also love backpacking, hiking, canoeing — basically, anything out in nature. I like traveling and exploring new places. I also enjoy reading fiction when I have time. But mostly I just spend time with my family. 


5. What’s your #1 piece of advice for HSOC students at Georgia Tech? 

Follow your bliss. College is a rare time in life when you can simply learn for the joy of learning. Most of the rest of your life will likely be dictated by your employer or family requirements or myriad other contingencies.

College represents a brief moment in life when you can pick what you want to study and pursue it without the burden of external considerations. So take advantage of that time to explore new things and do what you love.  


6. If prospective students or alumni are interested in what you do, can they contact you? What are some fields, topics, career questions, etc., that you could speak to?  

Absolutely. I am always glad to have conversations with students and alumni, whether it is about career advice or questions about politics, social issues, and current events. And, of course, if someone is interested in graduate school, I’d be more than willing to advise them in pursuing that path. 

Thank you for sharing your insight and experience, Professor Brown! 

Learn more about her work below, and stay tuned on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter for new student, faculty, and alumni spotlights every month. 

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