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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Laura Hanson Schlachter

PhD, Sociology and Community & Environmental Sociology

I ask sociological questions about how to make our economy more inclusive and move our society to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis.

Photo by Maria Drews

My mixed-methods research examines the relationship between resistance and building in movements for economic democracy and climate justice. I highlight the role of “repertoires of construction” in collective political struggle, particularly in activism that bridges civic and economic spheres.

I have published peer-reviewed articles on labor movement involvement in the emergence of market alternatives in the Rust Belt and a number of policy reports on democratizing the economy.  In 2021, I will launch the first national, cross-sector, longitudinal survey of cooperative governance as a Researcher at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. This project will build on my experience directing the first national study of the impacts of workplace democracy on individual workers in partnership with the Democracy at Work Institute, Center on Wisconsin Strategy, and University of Wisconsin Survey Center in 2017.

My teaching focuses on environmental justice, the sociology of climate change, and public sociology.  With Michael Bell, Loka Ashwood, and Isaac Leslie, I recently co-authored of the 6th edition of An Invitation to Environmental Sociology (2020).

My research has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation, Americorps, and the Beyster Fellowships Program at Rutgers University.

I have a PhD in Sociology and Community & Environmental Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and a BA from Whitman College.