Sociology/ Anthropology Department

Dr. James R. Bruce

James R. Bruce

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

  • B.A., University of Central Oklahoma
  • Ph.D., Tulane University

Dr. James R. Bruce retired in 2004 from the positions of Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology after teaching thirty years at Hendrix. He served as Chair of the Social Sciences Area from 1994 to 1998 and earlier had taught at Wofford College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the Arkansas Governor's School for the Gifted and Talented.

Having grown up in Oklahoma, Dr. Bruce graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1963 with a B.A. in History and earned a Ph.D. in sociology in 1973 from Tulane University of Louisiana. His teaching interests are racial and ethnic minorities, classical social theory, psychological anthropology, and the sociology of death. He founded the Arkansas Undergraduate Sociology and Anthropology Symposium in 1979 and has served as president of the Arkansas Sociological and Anthropological Association, the Arkansas Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Arkansas Conference of the American Association of University Professors.

Dr. Bruce is married to Carolyn Yarger Bruce who retired from teaching at Ida Burns Elementary School in Conway in 1998. They have two daughters and five grandchildren all living in Conway. Since 1996 Dr. Bruce has visited Central Europe six times in order to continue his research on social and cultural developments in post-communist Poland.

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts in History, University of Central Oklahoma, 1963
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, Tulane University, 1973

Selected Activities

  • Authored "Attitudes Toward Housing" in Attitudes Toward the Environment: New Orleans, a research report prepared for the City Planning Commission of New Orleans, 1967, chap. iii, pp. 47-67.
  • Teaching materials developed for selected topics course, Sociology of Death, published by the American Sociological Association in Resources, Instructional Materials and Syllabi for Courses on the Sociology of Death and Dying, edited by Ronald J. Funis and Gerry R. Cox, 1986.
  • Represented Hendrix College on the "Building Bridges Between Institutions of Higher Education in the Carpathian Region of East Central Europe and the Southeastern United States" trip to four European countries including a visit to Hendrix' sister institution, Technical University of Lublin, Poland, October 11-20, 1996.
  • Plenary presentation on "Scattering the Light or Notes on the Fractionated Faculty" in a session on "Issues in Contemporary Higher Education: Challenges to the Academy," Association for Humanist Sociology, November 19-22, 1998, Austin, Texas.
  • Presentation on "Higher Education in Post-Communist Poland: Globalization or Discontinuity?" Southern Sociological Society meeting, April 20, 2000, in New Orleans.
  • Invited speaker at faculty luncheon on "Poland and the Czech Republic: A Brief Comparison" for International Focus Week at Henderson State University on April 10, 2002.
  • Invited by the Technical University of Lublin to lecture on “Freedom and Security: The American Response to Terrorism” to the Lublin Chapter of the Polish Academy of Science and at the Catholic University of Lublin, March 25-26, 2003, Lublin, Poland.
  • Authored “Freedom and Security: The American Response to Terrorism,” Biuletyn Infromacyjny, Polska Adademia Nauk: Oddzial W Lublinie, October 2003, pp. 48-52.
  • Invited to deliver “Some Comments on the Control of Alcohol and Other Drugs in U.S. Colleges and Universities” at a conference on drug education at the Technical University of Lublin, Poland, May 17, 2005.