Michael Loukinen, PhD.
Professor of Sociology
Director, Up North Films
-1975 PhD Michigan State University
-1975-76 Post Doctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Courses taught at NMU
-SO 101 Introduction to Sociology
-SO 201 Sociology of Aging
-SO 351 Social Change
-SO/AN 495 Visual Sociology & Anthropology (possibly in the future)
Teaching and Professional History
1974 Michigan Technological University
1976-2014 Northern Michigan University
Research Interests: Traditional cultures and communities in the U.P. Documentary film production.
My research has focused on ethnic and occupational traditions in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Some of this has resulted in published book chapters and articles on Finnish Americans. Most of my research has been expressed in documentary films: two on Finnish American cultural history and traditions; one on traditional wilderness workers (trappers, loggers and commercial fishers), one on Native American fiddlers, six about the Lac Vieux Desert Ojibwa Band in Watersmeet, MI; and four sociological intervention documentaries on alternative school kids, adults with disabilities, vehicular homicide victims and myths about alcohol and intimate partner violence. See the Up North Films website at www.upnorthfilms.com .
Teaching Philosophy (and/or) Profile
My career spans over thirty-five years of teaching and making sociological documentary films. Gradually I have evolved into cultural sociologist employing a blend of historical and anthropological perspectives along with sociology.
I try to cultivate the ability to actually think sociologically about your personal life, your social network, community, nation and world.
I have been awarded numerous grants from local, state and national agencies to produce and direct documentary films. Funding agencies have included state humanities councils (MI, MN, ND, WI), the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and many grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts. Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach and study in Finland in 1982. Delivered numerous papers at academic conferences. Film screenings at major academic conferences and film festivals nationally on PBS and Finnish television networks Films have won both academic and artistic honors. Recently received the Artist of the Year Award (Marquette Arts Council) and Outstanding Scholarship Award (Northern Michigan University).