Barry Gerard Prendergast

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello and Welcome to my Website/Blog!

Valid CSS!

At the behest of family, friends, colleagues and students, I have decided to finally publish my own web space/blog, basically as an opportunity to communicate with those who have said they are interested in hearing from me personally, and also for those students and peers who would like to stay in touch.


Thank you for teaching us!

How’s it going Professor? Where will you be teaching at CSUS this year (2008)? We, the students appreciate every little thing that you have done in our classes. We will always remember the lectures and the jokes and the theories and inspiration that you brought with you. I believe that many students enjoyed your class as I have myself. I was never tired or bored but always fascinated by the voice that you projected with enthusiasm while you spoke in front of us. You’re the best teacher that I had so far and hopefully I’ll see you around campus. You’re not just an excellent teacher but also a great mentor and a great friend. Thank you again for your inspiration in teaching and I’ll see you around my friend. (Email me when your book comes out, I’ll be one of the first to purchase it.)

Your student, Leng, a Junior at CSU Stanislaus.


Dear Professor,

I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed your class. After taking classical theory in the fall semester I was left with the feeling that I had made a huge mistake in choosing to major in Sociology. I feel that what I got more out of that class was an education in conspiracy theory and the feeling that all sociologists share the same beliefs and values. Of course those particular beliefs and values that were shared were very extreme and alienating. I felt like I did not belong. I talked to my advisor about the concerns and even got the forms necessary to change majors, but decided to give it another chance. In your contemporary theory class not only did you share and expand upon the area of Sociology in which I fit, but you helped me to develop a better knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the other theories from classical theory as well. I hope to have the opportunity to take a class from you again in the future.

Thank you,

Stephanie Whitefield (Senior, 2008)

Dear Professor…

April 2007

Dear Prof. Prendergast,

                I would like to thank you for all the times you have helped me through your classes. Whether it was answering my questions, giving me a copy of one of your books to read, or just to listen to what I had to say about a theory to make sure that I was getting it down all the way. I have thoroughly enjoyed your classes greatly and have told all my friends to take your theory classes. I really never knew theory could be such an interesting class because all my friends that have took it before said it was one of the most “boring” classes.–That’s why I took the theory classes last. Then you came on board as a new instructor last semester and blew the class away with students wanting to go to your class to see what theory and theorist you would talk about that day.

                I am a senior this year graduating in spring.  I get so excited when I say that but I also get excited to know that you will be teaching and intriguing students minds for hopefully many years to come. I will always remember you when I go on to get my Masters Degree in Social Work. I know if I ever need any encouragement or someone to help me with a theory or theorist it will be you because I have your school email handy in my address book.

                I just wanted to say thanks again for opening my eyes up in your theory classes. I like how you have us work in groups and present in groups. It lets all the students see how the groups’ theories and theorists intertwine together. I believe that the students are truly learning about the theory and theorist they have chosen. I know I have and I have enjoyed learning about the theories I choose.  

Sincerely, Christine Peltier

Social Theory class 3400-002

Random Student feedback to my teaching Sociology

Since taking Sociology with Professor Prendergast, I have now decided on my major—it’s going to be Sociology! I was unsure before but now am sure I want learn everything about Sociology as it seems such an interesting subject, and so relatable to everyday life.

Great professor. Loved the class. I took this class for the Winter term and he was very helpful and tried to make everything very understandable. He showed movies to help us understand Sociology in an enjoyable fashion. I highly recommend him.

Professor Prendergast is a very outgoing, fun, and intellectual teacher. For a short guy, he has a tall personality, meaning that he will help any student at any time and would take the time out of his, so that the students would benefit. It’s a win, win situation for the students. I’ve taken two of his classes already and plan on taking more by him.

Professor Prendergast: Fun, friendly, outgoing, concerned. Innovative with a variety of teaching styles. He attempted to allow the class resemble a Socratic style education with many discussion prodding techniques.

Prof. Prendergast is very helpful, friendly and will make sure you learn the material without being bored out of your mind. If you ever have a question or need something, he’s happy to give you some of his time and is open to hearing feedback about the class. Your grade will directly reflect what you put into the class. Highly recommended!

I have learned a whole lot about cultures, sub-cultures, socialization processes and status. I knew these before but now I really know what they mean. I’m a visual person, so seeing these terms I action has been very helpful.

Since taking this Sociology class with Professor Prendergast, I have learned many new things. Learning the sociological perspectives have been very helpful and I can’t help but now apply these to my own personal experiences in life—especially watching TV ads and shows, I can see how the sociological perspectives highlight the different types of behaviors.

Since I learned about ethnocentrism in class, I notice it everywhere I go now. It has really opened my eyes and helped me not to judge other people harshly. I would like to learn more on juts about everything through Sociology.

I never realized how the world we live in is so set up in so many different ways. The new perspectives I’ve learned in Sociology have helped me view our society in different ways too. I’ve also learned to appreciate the complexities and problems within society more. I would like to learn more about gender inequalities and how these may affect children. I’m also interested in the effect of media in today’s society and would like to take a class on that topic (if you are going to teach it).

This class has made me view my world differently. I think much more about how society is made up of different “groups” and I am more aware of the groups that I belong to. It is interesting to see how media, culture and social structure all greatly affect our lives in so many different ways.

Being in this class has taught me to look at things in a deeper way, and to try to understand how certain groups of people have arrived at where they are at today—how culture, socialization and social structure affect many of our values, beliefs and goals in life.

I really liked learning about Coolley’s “looking-glass self”. It is such an interesting and useful concept. There’s something quite philosophical about it. I can see how it can apply to many different individual and group situations and identities.

Feedback on CSUS Research Analysis class


Hello Professor Gerard-Prendergast,

I just wanted to send you a little note to let you know how much I appreciate your teaching style. When I took statistics for my AA degree at Merced JC, I struggled and it left a bitter taste in my desire to ever want to do stats/analysis again. Ultimately, I have procrastinated until this semester, literally backed in a corner in having to take it to fullfill a requirement for my graduation. Drudging this (analysis) course during sign-ups in December, I practiced “psyching myself out, saying, “I can make it through this.” I undoubtedly was completely intimidated and was bracing myself for a struggling semester.

I find your style refreshing and easy to comprehend when you take the analysis terminology and apply it to everyday life and symbols. My particular favorite was the recent one about driving a car. You had explained it’s like driving a car: the motor skills get learned first, (through the computer lab), then the textbook material starts to apply. This holds very true in my case, I start to “connect the dots” as I do the hands-on learning, review the material again, and then the Friday class with review notes and power-points that help bring all the terminology and parts together.

I now actually look forward to class, something I never thought I would! Thanks for your humor and light-hearted approach to something that could easily become a strain on the brain.

Monika Villasenor
SOC 4030-003