Sociology Professor joins Prestigious Writers Group

Dr. Martha McCaughey, professor in the Department of Sociology, has become a member of the Heterodox Academy's Writers Group, a nonprofit organization. Heterodox Academy's Writers Group is a team of individuals associated with higher education or K-12 education who write about viewpoint diversity, open inquiry and constructive disagreement.

With over 5,000 members, founded in 2015 by Jonathan Haidt, Chris Martin and Nicholas Rosenkranz, Heterodox Academy champions the value of diverse viewpoints and open inquiry in education. The HxA Writers Group, made up of 20 select members, meets as a team every week and each writer contributes to the Heterodox Blog, as well as other national and regional news outlets.

McCaughey began her career at Appalachian State University in 2003 as director of the women's studies (now gender, women's and sexuality studies) program, housed in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. She has taught a variety of sociology courses, both undergraduate and graduate, online and face-to-face.

She has also authored and edited multiple books and articles on gender, violence and technology, including “Real Knockouts” and “Cyberactivism on the Participatory Web.” Her writing has also appeared in “Academe, Ms.” and “The Society Pages.” 

Throughout her 13 years directing high-profile university programs, she embraced heterodox views and academic freedom with creativity and courage. McCaughey also conducts research with faculty in sociology at the University of Wyoming and consults with academic programs on strategic communications and program development.

“As a sociologist of gender and technology, my work addresses controversial issues. Our academic conversations on these topics must occur without government, corporate, religious or activist interference. Our educational institutions can only be trustworthy, credible sources of information if we are committed to studying, teaching and debating issues in all their complexity,” said McCaughey. 

McCaughey plans to write about the debates over the purpose of the university, scholar activism and how digital technologies have transformed the higher ed environment. 

“After studying these debates for years, I am glad to be able to share my knowledge about them with a wide audience,” said McCaughey. 


About the Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Arts and six Bachelor of Science concentrations (applied research methods; criminology, deviance and law; families and intimate relationships; health and aging; social inequalities; and individually designed, which requires departmental approval). The department also offers minors in sociology and health and aging, plus two online graduate certificates: aging, health and society, and sociology. Learn more at

By Sophia Woodall
June 24, 2021


Dr. Martha McCaughey, professor in the Department of Sociology and member of the Heterodox Academy's Writers Group. Photo by Marie Freeman.
Published: Jun 24, 2021 2:17pm