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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

As a Researcher at the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, I leverage expertise in mixed methods research, survey design, and community economic development policy to direct two new national studies: the Cooperative Governance Research Initiative and the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Trends in the Cooperative Community survey.

As a Research Analyst in the AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation, I draw on statistics and the civic engagement literature to analyze Current Population Survey Civic Engagement and Volunteering Supplement data.

My work has been generously supported by the National Science Foundation, AmeriCorps, Cooperative Development Foundation, Women & Wellbeing in Wisconsin and the World (4W), and the Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing.

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 – most recently a piece called How Economic Democracy Impacts Workers, Firms, and Communities (coauthored with Olga Prushinskaya) based on data I collected as Director of the first national study of its kind in 2017. My mixed-methods dissertation examined the relationship between resistance and building in movements for economic democracy and climate justice, highlighting the role of “repertoires of construction” in activism that bridges civic and economic spheres.

My teaching focuses on environmental justice, the sociology of climate change, and public sociology. With Michael Bell, Loka Ashwood, and Isaac Leslie, I also co-authored the 6th edition ofAn Invitation to Environmental Sociology (2021).

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 in Peace and Conflict Studies from Whitman College.