Brent Mack Shea

Professor of Sociology (Emeritus & Adjunct)

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o: Benedict Hall 105

Brent Mack Shea

Brent Mack Shea is Professor of Sociology (Emeritus and Adjunct) at Sweet Briar, where he has been on the faculty since 1978.  He teaches courses in medical sociology, social psychiatry, and social inequality.  He has a doctorate in Sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he was also an undergraduate and a full-time faculty member.  He was a National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Psychiatry at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies at Yale University, and held a visiting appointment in the Sociology Department at Yale.  Dr. Shea is a co-Editor of Social Psychiatry Across Cultures: Studies from North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa, Plenum (softcover reprint published by Springer in 2019).  He has reported results of analyses of data from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) community mental health survey at meetings of social scientists, psychiatrists, and epidemiologists throughout Western Europe, and in the US and Japan.  He is author or co-author of numerous publications, including journal articles, book chapters, reference book entries, book reviews, and conference papers from 1972 to the present, most recently on medical sociology and social stratification.  He has served as editorial, peer, and proposal reviewer for professional associations, academic publishers, and research grants agencies.  His current research is on low-value health care and social justice.

Dr. Shea was vice president of the Executive Board of the International Sociological Association Mental Health and Illness Research Committee.  He has been a member of the American Sociological Association task force on the the international focus of American Sociology and its task force on the post-doctorate.  He has chaired the Committee on Governance of Colleges and Universities of the Virginia American Association of University Professors as a member of its Executive Committee.  In 2022, he was among those honored by resolution of the AAUP National Council for “50 years of meritorious support of its principles and standards”.  Between 2004 and 2018, Dr. Shea was an NGO Representative at UN Headquarters, and a member of several NGO Committees in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN (Status of Women, Mental Health, Social Development), and the Academic Council of the UN System.  Recently, he chaired the “Women and Development” side event of the High-Level Segment of the Annual Session of ECOSOC in Geneva, and participated in a panel on health as a human right during the 38th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.  He participated as an NGO Main Representative with oral and written interventions in the 54th and 55th Sessions of the UN Commission for Social Development and the General Debate of the ECOSOC High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at UN Headquarters.