Ph.D. State University of New York at Binghamton, 1981
Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
Office: Davison Hall, 111
One area of interest for Dr. Williams is the social construction of identity within the context of macro and mid-range social structures. Of specific concern within that regard is the development of "racial" and "national" identities. His book Hierarchical Structures and Social Value: The Social Construction of Black and Irish Identities in the U.S. (Cambridge University Press, 1990) is a reflection of his thinking about those issues. Another area of interest is around contemporary cultural forms of social system legitimation. While the first interest is with the historical processes by which contemporary identities were developed, this aspect of his work focuses upon how those identities are continually re-enforced and reshaped by contemporary mass media. He is currently at work on, "Scanning the Horizon: Local TV News in the Reproduction of Social Inequality," a book which argues that local TV news serves a significant role in the legitimation of existing social inequality.