Guðmundur "Gummi" Oddsson

Professor Guðmundur Assistant Professor of Sociology

Office: 2415 Jamrich Hall
Phone: 906-227-1148

2014, Ph.D. Sociology, University of Missouri
2013, Preparing Future Faculty Certification
2009, M.A. Sociology, University of Missouri
2006, B.A. Social and Economic Development, University of Akureyri
2005, Post-Graduate Certificate of Education, University of Akureyri
2002, B.Sc. Business Administration, University of Akureyri

Courses taught at NMU
SO322 Social Class, Power, and Mobility
SO263 Criminology
SO322 Introductory Sociology

Other courses taught:
            Class, Status, and Power
            Social Inequality
            Social Deviance
            Self and Society
            Culture and Mass Media
            Sociology of Organizations and Institutions
            The Social Structure of Iceland

Teaching and Professional History
2014: Northern Michigan University, Assistant Professor
2014, summer: University of Missouri, Adjunct
2010-2014: University of Missouri, Graduate Instructor
2011-2012: University of Akureyri, Adjunct
2008-2010: University of Missouri, Teaching Assistant
2009, summer: Center for Gender Equality, Researcher
2007: University of Akureyri, Project Manager of International Relations
2004-2007: Univeristy of Akureyri, Univeristy of Akureyri Research and Development Center


Research Interests
My research interests include social control and social inequalities, particularly the subjective dimensions of class.

  • Class Analysis 
  • Social Inequalities
  • Globalization
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Crime
  • Deviance and Social Control
  • Sport
  • Media

Teaching Philosophy/Profile

     My approach to teaching is influenced by my education, training, and teaching experiences in two national contexts: the United States and Iceland. My experiences have provided me with a diverse foundation for my teaching philosophy. Consequently, I take a cross-cultural and comparative approach in all of my courses. I do this mainly in two ways: 1) by introducing students to how various fields (e.g. criminal justice) work in different countries; and 2) by engaging them in discussion of how to explain cross-national variations. This approach also grows out of my interdisciplinary background and broad intellectual influences. I believe an interdisciplinary approach is necessary to understand contemporary societies and to convey accessible knowledge about the social world. Hence, I draw from related disciplines such as anthropology and teach students how they can apply what they learn in my courses as a knowledge base in other contexts. This especially applies to critical thinking. Students often come from vastly different backgrounds, so a rigid, one size fits all approach simply will not work. An interdisciplinary approach, on the other hand, allows students to make connections and to apply the critical lens of the sociological imagination to knowledge acquired in other courses and their daily lives. This also allows the teacher and the students much needed freedom and flexibility to explore and discover by transcending disciplinary boundaries.

     I have had a passion for teaching since I was a teenager. Some of it comes from my father, who was an extremely dedicated teacher for over 30 years. Much of my passion, however, derives directly from my experiences as an undergraduate. I had many wonderful professors who inspired me to think critically about the world and to pursue my goals. I want to pass this passion on to my students and to motivate them in the same way as my professors did for me. I am also driven by my desire to advocate for social change and I look at my interactions with students as a chance to inspire them to be the change they want to see in the world.

     To help students think critically about their place in the world and social justice, I strive to create a safe and inclusive classroom where everyone feels free to share their opinion. I expect everyone to participate because learning is a collective process and I lead by example by building relationships with and among students. This gives students confidence and creates the comfort level needed to critically reflect on difficult issues. Equally important, I want to get students enthusiastic about sociology, which is necessary for an effective learning experience. This is best achieved by making the course material as interesting and relevant as possible. I have learned that students largely share my interest in social inequality, always a key topic in my courses. I show my students how sociology allows us to understand phenomena that are not obvious, like how our social location in respect to race, class, and gender influences our thinking, behavior and outcomes.

Selected Publications
     My research has been published in academic journals such as The Sociological Quarterly, Acta Sociologica, Sociological Focus, and the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

     In my published research articles I have developed a research program that centers on class awareness and social change. My dissertation Classlessness as Doxa: Late Modernity and Changing Perceptions of Class Division in Iceland addresses the question: How do structural and cultural changes impact perceptions of class division? The project uses the economic boom and subsequent collapse of the Icelandic economy in 2008 as a case study. Iceland is an interesting case because it offers a microcosm of how a society is impacted by rapid globalization, prolonged prosperity, and economic collapse. I am currently in the process of initiating a comparative-historical study of perceptions of class division in different welfare regimes: conservative (Germany), liberal (USA), and social-democratic (Iceland).

Peer Reviewed Articles:

Guðmundur Oddsson. Forthcoming: Guðmundur Oddsson and Jón Gunnar Bernburg. "Opportunity beliefs and class differences in subjective status   injustice during the Great Recession in Iceland." Acta Sociologica.

Guðmundur Oddsson. Forthcoming: "Class Imagery and Subjective Social Location during Iceland's Economic Crisis, 2008-2010." Sociological Focus.

Guðmundur Oddsson. 2016. "Neoliberal Globalization and Heightened Perceptions of Class Division in Iceland." The Sociological Quarterly 57(3): 462-490.

Guðmundur Oddsson, Helgi Gunnlaugsson, and John F. Galliher. 2015. "Runaway Icelanders: Globalization, Collapse, and Crime." Arctic and Antarctic:International Journal of Circumpolar Sociocultural Issues 9(9): 29-57.

Fisher, Andrew, Guðmundur Oddsson and Takeshi Wada. 2013. “Policing Class and Race in Urban America.” International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 33(5/6): 309-327.

Oddsson, Guðmundur. 2012. “Representations of Classlessness In a Small, Homogenous, and Egalitarian Society.” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 56(1): 101-129.

Oddsson, Guðmundur. 2011. “Ideas About Icelandic Classlessness.” Íslenska þjóðfélagið [Journal of the Icelandic Sociological Society] 2(1): 27-46.

Oddsson, Guðmundur. 2010a. “Class Awareness among Icelanders in the Wake of an Economic Collapse.” Íslenska þjóðfélagið [Journal of the Icelandic Sociological Society] 1(1): 5-26.

Oddsson, Guðmundur. 2010b. “Class Awareness in Iceland.” International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 30(5/6): 292-312.

Other Publications:

Oddsson, Guðmundur. “Quantitative Methods in Studying Deviance.” In Heith Copes and Craig Forsyth (eds.) Sage Encyclopedia of Social Deviance. Thousand Oaks: Sage. [forthcoming]

Oddsson, Guðmundur. 2012. “Knowledge Societies or McUniversities?” Netla – Online Journal on Pedagogy and Education 11(1):

Aradóttir, Elín, Guðmundur Oddsson, Hjalti Jóhannesson, et al. 2006. Peripheral Localities and Innovation Policies – Learning From Good Practices Between the Nordic Countries.   Chydenius Institute – Kokkola University Consortium, University of Akureyri Research and Development Center, NIFUSTEP, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), University of Southern Denmark and Nordregio.

Leiknisdóttir, Auður M., Bragi Guðmundsson and Guðmundur Oddsson. 2006. Sports, Media and Stereotypes – Women and Men in Sports and Media, Kjartan Ólafsson (ed.). Akureyri: University of Akureyri Research and Development Center.