Karen A. Cerulo and Hana Shepherd Published in Annual Review of Sociology

Faculty members Karen A. Cerulo, Hana Shepherd and graduate alumna Vanina Leschziner just published "Rethinking Culture and Cognition" in the Annual Review of Sociology V47: 63-86. The article examines new work in cognitive science and cultural sociology published since DiMaggio's seminal 1997 piece "Culture and Cognition."

Department Statement on Racial Violence, June 2020

The Rutgers Sociology department is United for Justice. The tragic and senseless murder of George Floyd, preceded by Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others before, has once again exposed the systemic racism and ongoing legacies of state violence disproportionately plaguing the Black community and people of color in this country and elsewhere. We recognize the pain that recent events -- the disproportionate share of COVID-related deaths among communities of color and the senseless murders of African-Americans -- inflict on many of our own colleagues. We stand in solidarity as a department and commit to the hard work required to effect meaningful and long-lasting change. We are dedicated to building a more just, equitable and sustainable department and society.

To learn more about anti-racism and recent protests, please see: Educational Resources to Understand Protests and Promote Anti-Racism.

(Statement previously housed on Diversity and Inclusion webpage.)

Passing of Alumnus Robert Lang

We are sad to share the news that Robert Lang, a graduate of our program and a nationally recognized authority on urban growth, economic development and population dynamics, died on June 21. We send our sincere condolences to his family.

Ali R. Chaudhary delivers guest lecture at European Research Centre on Migration, Ethnic Relations, and Multiculturalism

Faculty member Ali R. Chaudhary delivered a guest lecture on June 7th, 2021 entitled "Ascriptive Categories and Boundary-Making in Everyday life." His talk was presented via zoom at the European Research Centre on Migration, Ethnic Relations, and Multiculturalism based at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

New article on Asian-American civic engagement during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections co-authored by faculty members Ali R. Chaudhary and Quan D. Mai

"Educational Place, Simultaneity, and Civic Participation in Asian America"
Ali R Chaudhary, Quan D Mai (2021) RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, April 2021, 7 (2) 111-128; DOI:

Article Abstract: Educational attainment is widely assumed to be positively correlated with civic participation in the United States. Yet Asian immigrants represent a civic paradox because they often report low rates of civic participation despite having relatively high educational attainment. This study investigates how educational place mediates civic participation among six Asian immigrant groups in the United States. We use the concept of simultaneity to examine the extent to which foreign and domestic educational environments mediate Asian immigrant proclivities for civic participation. Using survey data from the 2016 National Asian American Survey pre-election survey, we find exposure to foreign educational place decreases civic participation for all Asian immigrants; and educational place mediates subgroup group-level proclivities for civic participation. We conclude by discussing the significance of educational contexts relative to collective transnational simultaneity.

Karen A. Cerulo featured on "Thinking Aloud" on BBC 4

Professor Karen A. Cerulo was a guest on “Thinking Aloud,” a radio show broadcast on BBC 4. Professor Cerulo was interviewed at length on May 5, 2021 about her study “Scents and Sensibilty: Olfaction, Sense-Making and Meaning Attribution.” The article was published in the American Sociological Review in 2018. You can hear the program at:

Changhye Ahn's research wins first replace in NYAAPOR-PANJAAPOR Young Public Opinion Stars Competition

Changhye Ahn's first QP project, "Acceptance of Prostitution: Support for Gender Equality and Prostitution Policy," won the first place at 2021 NYAAPOR-PANJAAPOR Young Public Opinion Stars Competition hosted by NY-PA-NJ Chapters of American Association of Public Opinion Research. The study analyzes the ways in which state policies on prostitution affect the relationship between individuals' support for gender equality and their views on prostitution, using the World Value Survey data from 39 countries.

Learn more about the competition here:

Niina Vuolajarvi receives the Outstanding Doctoral Student Award for 2021


Niina Vuolajarvi has been recognized by the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies (SGS) for her groundbreaking research through an Outstanding Doctoral Student Award for 2021. The Outstanding Doctoral Student Award recognizes excellence in doctoral research and scholarship, with award criteria including outstanding achievements in academic research and scholarship, importance of research to a given field of study, and track record of academic and professional excellence.

Jomaira Salas Pujols Receives Ford Dissertation Fellowship

jomaira square

Congratulations to doctoral candidate Jomaira Salas Pujols, who was recently awarded the prestigious Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship! After completing her Ford fellowship, Jomaira will join the Department of Sociology at Bard College.

Marisa Isabel Espinoza publishes new article in Big Data & Society

Sociology graduate student Maria Isabel Espinoza and Melissa Aronczyk (Rutgers School of Communication and Information) published an article in Big Data & Society that finds that “Data for good” initiatives around climate change are more about corporate PR and risk management than achieving global environmental sustainability goals.

“Big Data for Climate Action or Climate Action for Big Data?” Big Data & Society 8.1 (2021).

Spring 2021 Colloquium Series

Join us for our Spring 2021 Colloquium Series, featuring:

  • Abigail Saguy, UCLA - "Come Out, Come Out Whoever You Are"
  • Ann Morning, NYU - "Rethinking Race in Italy"
  • Dana Fisher, University of Maryland - "American Resistance"
  • Vesla Weaver, Johns Hopkins University - "The State from Below"

For more information and to join the colloquia via Zoom, download the Spring 2021 Colloquium Series PDF flyer or visit our events calendar.

Catherine Lee interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer about what a Biden administration will mean for immigration

Professor Lee stated that a Biden administration will help end the demonization of immigrants and their families:

“The conversation has been about ‘them’ draining what ‘we’ have, not coming and contributing vibrantly, economically, socially,” said Rutgers University sociologist Catherine Lee, who looks to Biden to reset the national narrative, to celebrate anew the country’s historic role as a beacon. “It’s about highlighting what we already know: Immigrants are your neighbors, your teachers, your doctors, your kids' soccer coach.”

Read the whole article here:

Ali R. Chaudhary featured in a virtual symposium organized by the journal International Migration Review and the Center for Migration Studies of New York

Faculty member Ali R. Chaudhary was featured in the Center for Migration Studies' 2020 symposium, titled "Migration Research, Scholarship, and Policy at a Time of Multiple Crises." He spoke on the panel "The Role of Migration Scholarship at a Time of Multiple Crises."

For more information, please visit:

Brittany Friedman's research published in Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice coverBrittany Friedman has published a new article, "Unveiling the Necrocapitalist Dimensions of the Shadow Carceral State: On Pay-to-Stay to Recoup the Cost of Incarceration" in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, available here:

Pay-to-stay is the practice of charging incarcerated people fees to pay for their own confinement. The article traces the institutional & legal foundation of pay-to-stay and how states sue incarcerated people in civil court to recoup these fees.

The article draws from her larger collaborative project with Dr. April Fernandes (North Carolina State) and Gabriela Kirk (Northwestern University), which comparatively investigates pay-to-stay and civil recoupment strategies across states.

COVID-19 Information

The Rutgers Sociology Department will be online this fall semester due to COVID-19. For general information about Rutgers during the pandemic, please see the Rutgers Universitywide COVID-19 website.

Students are encouraged to reach out to their instructors for questions about course material. For other inquiries, please contact the following individuals by email:

  • Julie Phillips, Department Chair, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Lisa Iorillo, Business Administrator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Steven Brechin, Graduate Program Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Marie Ferguson, Graduate Program Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Jeffrey Dowd, Undergraduate Program Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Carissa Nadonley, Undergraduate Administrative Assistant, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul Hirschfield quoted in media outlets on lethal policing

how police unions fight reformPaul Hirschfield was quoted or interviewed in a variety media outlets for his expertise on patterns and practices of lethal policing in the United States. He appears in the New Yorker ("How Police Unions Fight Reform"), the Council on Foreign Relations (“How Police Compare in Different Democracies”), NBC News (“How to Change How America Is Policed“), the NJ Spotlight ("NJ Push to Order Disclosures of ‘Bad Apple’ Police Officers Hits Court Roadblocks”), and The Sheletta Show on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis.

Norah MacKendrick becomes Chair-Elect of the Environmental Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association

ASA Enviro SocCongratulations to Norah MacKendrick, who stepped into the role of Chair-Elect of the Environmental Sociology section of the American Sociological Association this August. To learn more about the Environmental Sociology section, visit their website:

ASA Annual Meeting Goes Virtual for 2020

Rachael Shwom, Chair-Elect for the American Sociological Association's Environmental Sociology facilitated the sessions going online this year. While disappointed to not be meeting face to face with our colleagues and friends, many of our program session presenters are enthusiastically prepared to present in real time or pre-record their papers to broadcast during programmed times.

Read more: ASA Annual Meeting Goes Virtual for 2020

Congratulations to Brooklynn Hitchens!

Brooklynn HitchensCongratulations to Brooklynn Hitchens who defended her dissertation "Stress and Street Life: Black Women, Urban Inequality, and Coping in a Small Violent City” on July 21, 2020! Brooklynn’s committee members were, Lauren Krivo and the late Patrick Carr (co-advisors), Dana Britton, and Yasser Payne. Dr. Hitchens will be joining the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland as a post-doctoral scholar for the 2020-2021 academic year and then as a tenure track Assistant Professor beginning in the fall semester of 2021.

Brittany Friedman, Paul Hirschfield, and Alexis Karteron (Law) receive grant to establish the “Project on Covid-19 and New Jersey Prisons"

Brittany Friedman, Paul Hirschfield, and Alexis Karteron (Law) received a grant from the Rutgers Center for Covid-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness to establish the “Project on Covid-19 and New Jersey Prisons.” The project will track the changing conditions of confinement in New Jersey and is a collaborative effort between the Department of Sociology, the Constitutional Rights Clinic, and the Center for Security, Race, and Rights.

Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo Graduate Student Scholar Award

The American Society of Criminology has established a graduate student award in Laurie Krivo's name. Congratulations to Laurie on this honor and well-deserved recognition of her career of dedicated mentorship of graduate students!

Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo Graduate Student Scholar Award

The ASC’s Division of Communities and Place Ruth D. Peterson and Lauren J. Krivo Graduate Student Scholar Award recognizes the best paper or book published (online or in print) in the past two years by graduate student division members. Papers or books can be sole-authored, or co-authored, as long as the nominated graduate student (i.e., the applicant) is the first author. There is no restriction on the rank or number of co-authors. One submission per applicant is permitted. Letters of support are not required.

Passing of Professor Emeritus Ben Zablocki

Ben Zablocki

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Ben Zablocki, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and beloved colleague, passed away on April 6 after a fifteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Read more: Passing of Professor Emeritus Ben Zablocki

Dr. Robert E. Lang and the Lincy Institute in UNLV received a $5 million donation

Congratulations to Rutgers Sociology alumnus, Dr. Robert E. Lang. As a professor of urban affairs and executive director of The Lincy Institute and Brookings Mountain West in UNLV, Robert and the Lincy Institute received a $5 million donation to support their public policy research. Please join me in congratulating Robert on this wonderful recognition!

Read more about the donation

Norah MacKendrick won Best First Book Award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society

Congratulations to Rutgers sociologist Norah MacKendrick! Her book, "Better Safe than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics," won Best First Book Award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society!  

Karen Cerulo won the 2019 Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article

Congratulations to Rutgers sociologist Karen Cerulo! Her ASR article, "Scents and Sensibility: Olfaction, Sense-making, and Meaning Attribution." won the 2019 Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article awarded by the Culture Section of the ASA.  Please join me in congratulating Karen on this wonderful recognition!

Eviatar Zerubavel awarded 2019 Charles Horton Cooley Award and 2019 Susanne K. Langer Award

Congratulations to Rutgers sociologist Eviatar Zerubavel! His book, "Taken for Granted: The Remarkable Power of the Unremarkable," has received two important awards: The 2019 Charles Horton Cooley Award for Best Book, from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) and the 2019 Susanne K. Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Symbolic Form, from the Media Ecology Association. Congratulations to Eviatar on this outstanding recognition of his work!

Jason B Phillips Memorial Lecture

The department has established the Jason B Phillips Memorial Lecture in memory of Jason Phillips. Each year, a graduate student preparing to defend their dissertation will be invited to share their work with the department and will receive an honorarium for their talk. We believe this is a perfect way to recognize Jason’s collaborative spirit and active engagement in our community.

If you would like to make a contribution to the memorial fund in Jason’s name, please make out a check to Rutgers University and send to the attention of Lisa Iorillo, Department of Sociology, Rutgers University, 26 Nichol Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

New Faculty Position Opening: Sociology of Data and Technology

The Sociology Department at Rutgers University seeks to hire a junior scholar in the area of data and technology in social life. We seek a scholar with research and teaching interests in the role of large-scale data and digital technologies within or across social and institutional domains including the economy, politics, healthcare, criminal justice/punishment, and/or culture. Preference will be given to candidates who understand the mechanics of digital technologies and computational methods and use them in their research within a substantive area of focus. The ability to secure external funding is desirable. This is a tenure track position at the assistant professor level to begin September 1, 2020. We will start reviewing applications on October 1, 2019. Applications received after that date cannot be assured full consideration. Please upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae, 1-2 writing samples and three references to

Three recommendation letters are also required, to be sent directly to
The Sociology Department is strongly committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty and welcomes applications from women and historically underrepresented populations. Offer is contingent upon successful completion of all pre-employment screenings.

Lisa Iorillo awarded the SAS Staff Excellence Recognition Award

IorilloCongratulations to Rutgers sociology Department Administrator Lisa Iorillo! She has been announced as a recipient of the SAS Staff Excellence Recognition Award, which recognizes staff who have distinguished themselves in service excellence, dedication to the School of Arts and Sciences and to faculty, students and constituents.  Her contributions were recognized at an awards ceremony in February.

József Böröcz awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Rutgers sociologist József Böröcz! He has recently been awarded a Fulbright research fellowship to Poland for the 2019-20 academic year.  His host institution will be the Robert Zajonc Institute for Social Research of the University of Warsaw.

Rutgers Sociology Spring 2019 Colloquium Series

SOC flyer 2019 forPrint

Jennifer Reich (University of Colorado, Denver) - Feb. 27th
Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines

Chinyere Osuji (Rutgers Camden) - Mar. 6th
Boundaries of Love: ‘Interracial Marriage’ from Los Angeles to Rio De Janeiro

Prema Kurien (Syracuse University) - March 13th
Race, Religion, and Citizenship: Indian American Political Advocacy

Francesca Polletta (University of California, Irvine) - April 10th
The Trouble with Stories

Cynthia Feliciano (Washington University in St. Louis) - May 1st
From Adolescence to Middle Adulthood: Cultural Change and Socioeconomic Mobility among Children of Immigrants

Sociology Seminar Room, Davison Hall, 11:30AM to 1:00PM
Time and Location for all above Colloquia

Joanna Kempner awarded 2016 Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award

Congratulations to Rutgers sociologist Joanna Kempner! Her book Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health has been awarded the 2016 Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award from the ASA's Medical Sociology Section!

Professor József Böröcz published two books in Hungarian during the 2017-18 academic year

Professor József Böröcz published two books in Hungarian during the 2017-18 academic year. Hasított fa . . . is a cross section of his writing in English about the post-state-socialist transformation and global structures; Az EU és a világ. . . is the Hungarian translation of his 2009-10 Routledge (UK) book The European Union and Global Social Change: A Critical Geopolitical Economic Analysis 

Brooklynn Hitchens Awarded 2018-19 Bevier Fellowship

Brooklynn Hitchens has been awarded a highly competitive 2018-19 Bevier Fellowship by the School of Graduate Studies, and has also been selected as a 2018-19 recipient of a pre-doctoral fellowship through the ASA's Minority Fellowship Program.

Two articles published by new faculty member Ali Chaudhary on immigrant politics in Europe

Ali Chaudhary has recently published two articles on immigrant politics in Europe. The first published in journal Global Networks analyzes the relationship between political integration and homeland politics across several immigrant groups in Europe. The second, published in the journal Migration Studies, examines the determinants of long-distance politics for Latin American migrants in Spain and Italy. Both pieces have been published in Early VIew and are available to read and download by clicking on the following links:

Voting Here and There - Global Networks

Migrants' Transnational Political Engagement - Migration Studies