People

Taylan Acar is a graduate student who is interested in political sociology, social theory, and social and economic change. He is currently working on two research papers, titled “Linking Theories of Frame Extension and Collective Identity Formation: The Women’s Organizations’ Involvement with the Novamed Strike in Turkey” and “The Phenomenon of Subcontracted Work in the Turkish Health Care Sector: A State Ethnography.”

Kathryn Anderson is a PhD student studying the cultural, political, and economic forces that constrain or enable effective policy-making in the context of complex and uncertain science. Working with an inter-disciplinary team of ecologists, agronomists, and hydrologists studying future ecosystem services under different climate and land use scenarios, Kathryn is studying the gap that often emerges between scientific consensus on the one hand and public consensus/policy on the other hand. She is investigating nutrient management standards and consolidating commodity chains in the livestock sector, focusing on three watersheds in Wisconsin, France, and the Netherlands.

A. Aneesh is Assistant Professor of sociology and global studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Aneesh’s research interests lie at the intersection of technology, work and migration. He is the author of Virtual Migration: the Programming of Globalization (Duke 2006), which examines how new technologies of globalization effect a break with previous notions of labor migration. Aneesh is currently completing a study of international call centers located in India, a research project funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Previously he taught at Stanford’s Science, Technology & Society Program (2001-04) and was a resident scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe (2006-07).

Sung Ik Cho is a graduate student who is interested in the political sociology and political economy, focusing on the East Asia, hopefully compared to Europe. Specifically, it would be the political dynamics of economic and welfare reforms. Right now, I am working on the welfare reform and its consequences in the pre/post financial crisis periods in South Korea and Japan as my MA thesis.

Monica Erling is writing a dissertation that looks at ethnic identity, community and the sociology of place. The case is a small town in Iowa with a distinct ethnic community identity (Dutch), and she looks at how old residents and new, non-Dutch residents negotiate identity and create community through the construction of place.

Myra Marx Ferree Is the Alice Cook Professor of Sociology and direction of the UW Europrean Union Center of Excellence. She studies feminist activism, gender discourse and women’s movement organizing worldwide, but especially focused on Germany and Europe. Her 2012 book /Varieties of Feminism: German Gender Politics in Global Perspective/ offers a model for thinking about institutional and discursive legacies in defining issues for the women’s movement and strategies chosen to address them. Her earlier books include /Global Feminism: Women’s activism, organizing and human rights/ and /Shaping Abortion Discourse: Democracy and the Public Sphere in Germany and the US. /She is currently working on a project on comparative gender equality politics in higher education and on editing a book on gender perspectives on human security.

Bob Freeland has research interests in the areas of organizational theory, economic sociology, and social theory. His research to date has focused on the governance of large corporations and economic theories of the firm. He has published a book, The Struggle for Control of the Modern Corporation, that examines how General Motors’ organization changed in response to governance imperatives during the period from 1924-1960. His current work focuses on the legal definition of the employment relation and its interaction with corporate law; it attempts to show how legal institutions provide a foundation for legitimate authority that becomes embodied in organizational actors.

Chad Alan Goldberg is a professor whose research interests that include citizenship, democratic theory, social movements, and the welfare state. His first book, Citizens and Paupers: Relief, Rights, and Race, from the Freedmen’s Bureau to Workfare (University of Chicago Press, 2007), shows how social welfare policies have been key sites for conflicts over the boundaries and rights of American citizenship. He recently completed a translation of and introduction to Emile Durkheim’s “Antisemitisme et crise sociale.” He is currently studying the relationship between women’s suffrage and the welfare state.

Nicole Kaufman is researching the targeting of community of formerly incarcerated people (prisoner reentry) by organizational groups as an instance of system-wide incorporation of new members. Her dissertation places organizational responses to prisoner reentry in the larger processes of state devolution, the negotiation of the role of religion in public life, and the targeting of women as special correctional subjects. The study compares ways that types of religious and secular organizations in Southern Wisconsin envision the integration and incorporation of their clients as citizens in the community, and how their vision affects the programming they offer. She examines the construction of women in particular and the ways reentry is gendered and prepares women for particular arrangements in work, romantic relationships, and parenting. Her master’s thesis “Congregating the Movement” examined the development of the environmental racism claim through cases built on civil rights laws that would build the foundation of the Environmental Justice Movement.

Matthew Kearney is a graduate student in Sociology whose previous research concerns the sociology of religion and medical sociology. His prospective research interests include labor markets, political sociology, cultural sociology, quantitative methods, and qualitative methods.

Nicole Butkovich Kraus is PhD student who received her M.S. from UW-Madison in 2008 with a thesis entitled “Xenophobia in the Russian Federation: A Multilevel Analysis” which empirically evaluates economic and cultural-demographic theories of individual and contextual determinants of xenophobia using multilevel statistical analysis.Her research interests include nationalism, xenophobia, stratification, race/class/gender intersectionality, theory, and quantitative methods. wqqaShe is currently working on several papers, including an analysis of economic determinants of xenophobic attitudes, an examination of violence against ethnic minorities, and a project on the intersection of xenophobia and nationalism.

Mara Loveman is an Associate Professor with interests in race and ethnicity, nationalism, social movements, and the state in comparative perspective. She is also interested in the social history of demography as a field of science, especially the history of production and analysis of racial statistics. Currently, she is writing a book about the practice and politics of racial and ethnic classification in Latin American censuses from the colonial period to the present day (National Colors: Racial Classification and the State in Latin America), She is also working on a number of collaborative projects with current and former graduate students that aim to tackle some of the challenges of measuring, modeling and interpreting racial and ethnic population data in quantitative social science research. Published work includes a study of the conditions for collective resistance to state repression during military dictatorships in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay (“High Risk Collective Action”, American Journal of Sociology 1998); an explanation for a state-building failure in 19th-century Brazil (“Blinded Like a State”, Comparative Studies in Society and History 2007) and a solution to the historical puzzle presented by the dramatic “whitening” of Puerto Rico’s population in the first decades of the twentieth century (“How Puerto Rico Became White”, American Sociological Review 2007).

Aliza Luft is a PhD candidate in the department of Sociology. Her research focuses on the decision-making processes underlying individuals’ behaviors in high-risk contexts. Drawing on theoretical insights from political sociology, collective action and social movements, and ideas about group formation, crystallization, and dissolution, her research employs mixed methods to explain how and why people with no pre-existing history of violence choose to support or resist violent state regimes.

Wes Markofski is a graduate student in sociology whose current research interests include social movements, sociology of culture and religion, theory, and comparative/historical sociology. His current work examines role of the arts and religious belief in social movements generally and among an emerging movement of grassroots Christian communities in the US particularly.

Alfonso Morales is an associate professor of Urban and Regional Planning. Learn more about his interests by viewing hisfaculty webpage.

Edo Navot is a sociology graduate student at Madison. He has a background in economics and is interested in economic sociology, class analysis, and Marxian political economy, especially the topics of inequality and macro-social dynamics (whatever that means).

Mytoan H. Nguyen is a doctoral student in Sociology at UW Madison. She has conducted research on exile and refugee politics and political participation through acts of commemoration. Mytoan is currently developing a project which explores the role of diasporic networks and their social and political impact in the international and domestic arena. Her theoretical interests lay in the sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology of economic change and development, social and collective remembrance as site of national inclusion and exclusion, and migration and nationalism. She is a steering committee member of the Wisconsin Migration Research Group.

Matt Nichter is writing a dissertation that examines the impact of McCarthyism on the development of the African-American civil rights movement. A chapter on Chicago activists’ responses to the lynching of Emmett Till reveals how fear of ‘Communist subversion’ divided the movement and conditioned authorities’ reactions to demands for redress. Another chapter traces the rise and fall of the first interracial veterans’ organizations in the south. Matt is also engaged in a newspaper coding project designed to remedy biases in previous analyses of the trajectory of African-American protest events. His general interests include comparative-historical sociology, political economy, and philosophy of science.

Pamela Oliver is a professor. She developed “critical mass” theories of collective action and social movements that stressed the role of organizers, and has written other pieces on social movements theory. She has studied news coverage of protests and other public events. Her current work focuses on racial disparities in incarceration and on linking theories of repression with theories of crime control.

Catherine Willis is a graduate student interested in transnationalism and political contestation in agricultural development. She recently completed her Master’s thesis, involving a study of development project in Senegal, which identifies the significance of a local development project as a political and transnational activity.

Erik Olin Wright is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. His academic work has been centrally concerned with reconstructing the Marxist tradition of social theory and research in ways that attempt to make it more relevant to contemporary concerns and more cogent as a scientific framework of analysis. His empirical research has focused especially on the changing character of class relations in developed capitalist societies. Since 1992 he has directed the Real Utopias Project, which explores a range of proposals for new institutional designs that embody emancipatory ideals and yet are attentive to issues of pragmatic feasibility. His principle publications include Classes (London: Verso, 1985), The Debate on Classes (London: verso, 1990), Reconstructing Marxism: Essays on Explanation and the Theory of History (with Elliott Sober and Andrew Levine. Verso, 1992); Interrogating Inequality (London: Verso, 1994); Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance (with Archon Fung. London: Verso, 2003); Envisioning Real Utopias (Verso, 2010) and jointly with Joel Rogers, American Society: How it Really Works (W. W. Norton, 2010).

Elizabeth Wrigley-Field’s dissertation is on race and layoffs in the United States over the last 30 years. Her other research is on mortality selection — the phenomenon that old-age statistics can be distorted because the disadvantaged rarely live to old age — and its implications for research on health inequalities.

John Aloysius Zinda is a graduate student who researches the relationships among economic development, human movement, and environmental change in China. His MS research (University of Michigan, Environmental Policy and Behavior) explored the impact of returning migrants’ urban experiences on communities in rural Jiangxi province. He is interested in how people respond as globalizing economies draw them into new contexts, as well as the implications of these changes for managing local and translocal environmental issues.

Alumni

Brett Burkhardt completed his Ph.D. and is now at Oregon State. His dissertation is on public discourse surrounding the emergence of the private imprisonment market in the United States from the 1980s through the present. He has also conducted research on felon voting rights, labor market consequences of imprisonment, and an experimental child support debt forgiveness program in Wisconsin. His areas of research and teaching interest include political sociology, sociology of law, and criminal justice.

Peter Hart-Brinson completed his Ph.D. and is now at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He specializes in cultural sociology, media and communication, and political sociology. His dissertation is on the cultural foundations of attitudes about same-sex marriage. By comparing the ways that college students and their parents talk about the issue, he is documenting the ways in which social generational change is altering patterns of support and opposition to same-sex marriage in the United States.His has also conducted research on the free radio movement in the United States; on the increase in civic recreation in the U.S. since 1980; and on the occupation and subcultural style of bicycle messengers.

Elizabeth Holzer completed her PhD and is now at Connecticut. Her dissertation is on political practices among Liberian refugees in Ghana. The research compares the experiences of Liberians living in a large refugee camp to those living without refugee aid to explore how refugee aid fosters or impedes post-conflict democratization. The study links research interests in democracy, refugee studies, law, gender and ethics. Previous research explored social and judicial activism in the military integration case, Kreil v Germany. Papers from this project described the case’s implications for movement-elite relations and the development of European citizenship.

Katherine McCoy completed her PhD candidate and is now at Bucknell University. Her areas of interest include political sociology and the sociology of law, with an emphasis on war and conflict, military institutions, globalization and human rights. Her current research focuses on the privatization of military and security policy and the increasing reliance on private military corporations (PMCs).

Carly Elizabeth Schall completed her PhD and is now at Vanderbilt. Her research interests lie in the intersections of welfare states, nationalism, citizenship and race/ethnicity. Her current work explores the ways in which expressions of ethnic and civic nationalisms were variously used by the Swedish Social Democrats to consolidate power in Sweden, using qualitative analysis of newspaper data from the period 1928-1932. Other work of Shall’s has looked at social citizenship in the EU, and the role of immigration discourse in the lack of extreme right success in Sweden.

Adam Slez completed his PhD and is now at University of Virginia. His research focuses on the way in which political behavior is shaped by the spatial, temporal, relational, and institutional settings in which actors are embedded. Drawing on an analysis of the relationship between the spatial dynamics of state-sponsored market-building and patterns of third-party support in the American West between 1890 and 1896, his current research examines the processes through which situated interests give rise to local patterns of political action. Past research includes a study of party formation in the United States Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Andrea Voyer recently completed her Phd and is no Postdoctoral Researcher in the Centre for Cultural Sociology at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden. Her dissertation focuses upon the fit between the cultural resources available to those living in a historically-white Maine community with a rapidly growing immigrant population and the benefits, difficulties, and dilemmas increasing diversity brings to the community. Her research reflects a theoretical interest in the roles of culture and meaning in action as well as her commitment to ameliorating racial, ethnic and economic inequality.