COVID-19 Update

Rutgers University has moved teaching online for the remainder of the semester. For all those enrolled in classes, all instructors should have provided you with information on how to best contact them during this period. If you have more general departmental inquiries, please contact one of us using the email addresses below. Take care, all.

Department Chair: Julie Phillips, Email:
Graduate Director: Steven Brechin, Email:
Undergraduate Director: Sharon Bzostek, Email:
Senior Department Administrator: Lisa Iorillo, Email:
Graduate Program Coordinator: Marie Ferguson, Email:
Undergraduate Administrative Assistant: Carissa Nadonley, Email:

Completed Dissertations

(Updated April 2020)


Laura Callejas. "Adolescent Status Struggles: Exploring the Relationship Between Conflict and Social Status Mobility in Middle School." Committee: Lauren J. Krivo (Co-chair), Hana Shepherd (Co-chair), Paul McLean, Todd Glover.

Jorie Hofstra. “Narrating the Neurally-Disrupted Self: Brain, Self, and Society in the Attribution of Dysregulated Anger.” Committee: Allan Horwitz (Chair), Eviatar Zerubavel, Joanna Kempner, Judith Gerson, Alexander K. Davis.


Brittany Pearl Battle. "'They're Stealing My Opportunity to Be a Father':The Child Support System and State Intervention in the Family." Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (Chair), Ethel Brooks, Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Maureen Waller.

Lisa Campion. "Doing Identity: A Social Pattern Analysis Exploring the Process of Identity Construction and Maintenance." Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (Chair), Deborah Carr, Richard Williams, Wayne Brekhus.

Idit Fast. "Creating Diversity, Managing Integration." Committee: Lauren J. Krivo (Co-chair), Hana Shepherd (Co-chair), Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Joscha Legewie.

Victoria Gonzalez. "Where is the "We" in Online Social Movements?: Rethinking the Role of Collective Identity in Online Activism." Committee: Karen Cerulo (Chair), Mary Chayko, Joanna Kempner, Francesca Polletta.

Brandon Kramer. "Molecularization at the Intersections: Testosterone, Prostate Cancer and the Construction of Racial Difference." Committee: Kristen Springer (Chair), Joanna Kempner, Catherine Lee, Rebecca Jordan-Young.

Lauren Murphy. "Race, Place, and Aging with Grace: The Intersection of Living Arrangements and Race in the Study of Older Adult Well-Being." Committee: Deborah Carr (Chair), Lauren J. Krivo, Julie Phillips, Dawn Mouzon, Amanda Botticello.

Jason Phillips. The Socioemotional Impact of Robbery on Social Networks: A Qualitative Study of Victim and Supporter Perspectives. (Lauren Krivo, Patrick Carr, Hana Shepherd).

Eunkyung Song. "Power from the Fingertips: Writing Alone and Working Together in the 2008 Candlelight Protests in South Korea." Committee: Paul McLean (chair), Judy Gerson, Richard Williams, Ann Mische.

Andrew Stroffolino. "The Scientist's Dilemma: the ethics of advocacy." Committee: Lee Clarke (Chair), Norah MacKendrick, Thomas Rudel, Phaedra Daipha, Rebecca Jordan.


Alicia Raia-Hawrylak. The Social Patterning of Victimization in Schools: Understanding Context to Improve School and Classroom Climates. Committee:  Patrick J. Carr (Co-chair), Lauren J. Krivo (Co-chair), Hana Shepherd, Phaedra Daipha.

Hwa-Yen Huang. "Why Me? Reflexive Practices in Illness Memoirs." Committee: Judith Gerson (chair), Joanna Kempner, Richard Williams, Eviatar Zerubavel, Robert Zussman.

Ying-Chao Kao. "Organizing Transnational Moral Conservatism: How U.S. Christian and Taiwanese “Pro-Family” Movements Converge, Diverge, and Collide." Committee: Arlene Stein (chair), Zakia Salime, Richard Williams, Louisa Schein.

Teja Pristavec. "Three Essays on the Caregiving Experience: Informal Caregivers' Perception of Burden and Benefits, the Importance of Social Support, and How Caregiver Experiences Matter for Care Recipients." Committee: Sharon Bzostek (co-chair), Deborah Carr (co-chair), Lenna Nepomnyaschy, Emily Greenfield.

Lilia Raileanu. "Indeterminate Waiting: Social Experiences, Politics, and Visualizations." Committee: Sarah Rosenfield (Chair), Norah MacKendrick, Arlene Stein, Deborah Carr.

Lindsay Stevens. "According to Plan? Medicine, Inequality, and Reproduction in the United States." Committee: Joanna Kempner (chair), Deborah Carr, Catherine Lee, Norah MacKendrick, Rene Almeling.


Crystal Bedley. "Multiracial Families in Television Commercials: Diversifying Notions of the Family." Committee: Catherine Lee, Karen Cerulo, Patricia Roos.

Kelly Kato. "Expanding the Immigrant Health Paradox: Self-Rated Health and the Role of Language." Committee: Julie Phillips, Sharon Bzostek, Sarah Rosenfield, Peter Guarnaccia.

Elizabeth Luth. "Social and Health Determinants of End-of-Life Care Quality: A Multidimensional Approach." Committee: Deborah Carr (chair), Julie Phillips, Kristen Springer.

Eiko Saeki. "Contested Boundaries of Personhood: The Moral Status of the Fetus and Infant in Late Tokugawa Japan." Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (Chair), Joanna Kempner, Karen Cerulo, Phaedra Daipha, Edward Drott.


Analena Bruce. "Entry and Persistence in Alternative Agriculture: An American Case Study." Committee: Thomas Rudel (chair), Norah MacKendrick, Karen O'Neill.

Julia Flagg. "Aiming for Zero: What Makes Nations Pledge To Become Carbon Neutral?" Committe: Thomas K. Rudel (chair), Steven Brechin, Norah MacKendrick.

Etienne Meunier. "Organizing Collective Intimacy: An Ethnography of New York City’s Clandestine Sex Clubs.” Committee: Joanna Kempner (co-chair), Arlene Stein (co-chair), Richard Williams.

Ghassan Moussawi. "Queer Disruptions: Modernity and Non-Normative Gender and Sexualities in Post-War Beirut." Committee: Arlene Stein (chair), Judith Gerson, Zakia Salime, Ann Mische.

Katherine Thurman. "The Effects of Early Childhood Victimization on SES: A Sociological Analysis."   Committee: Debby Carr (chair), Lee Clarke, Julie Phillips.

Jason Torkelson. "Life After Subculture." Committee: Patrick Carr (chair), Karen Cerulo, Arlene Stein.

Hakim Zainiddinov. "Are All Muslims Treated the Same? Racial and Ethnic Differences in Perceived Discrimination Among Muslims." Committee: Debby Carr (chair), Lee Clarke, Laurie Krivo, Richard Williams.


Shruti Devgan. "Re-presenting Pasts: Sikh Diasporic and Digital Memories of 1984." Committee: Arlene Stein (chair), Ethel Brooks, Zakia Salime.

Jennifer R. Hemler. “Living with, after, or beyond Cancer: Breast Cancer Survivorship and the New Normal.” Committee: Karen Cerulo (chair), Deborah Carr, Allan Horwitz.

Shatima Jones. "Performing Race and Shaping Community in the Black Barbershop."   Committee: Patrick Carr (chair), Ethel Brooks, and Ann Mische.

Eric Kushins. "Landing Gear, Lettuce, Bouquets, and Home Health Aides: Organizational Culture and the Surprising Resilience of Inefficiency in Entrepreneurial Businesses." Committee: Paul McLean (co-chair), Deborah Dougherty (co-chair, Rutgers Business School), Deborah Carr, Hana Shepherd.

Alexis Merdjanoff. "Weathering the Storm: The Long-term Effects of Hurricane Katrina on Mental Health, Mobility and Recovery." Committee: Lauren Krivo (chair), Sharon Bzostek, Chip Clarke.

Kirsten Younghee Song. "Becoming an Adult in the ‘Big World’: Korean Transnational Migrants’ Navigating Futures." Committee: Arlene Stein (chair), Judith Gerson, Phaedra Daipha, Ann Mische.


Alena Alamgir. "Socialist Internationalism at Work: Changes in the Czechoslovak-Vietnamese Labor Exchange Program, 1967-1989." Committee: Jozsef Borocz (chair), Ann Mische, Catherine Lee.

Andrea Barra. "Beyond The Bodice Ripper: Innovation and Change in the Romance Novel Industry." Committee: Karen A. Cerulo (chair), Arlene Stein, Patrick Carr.

Jeffrey Dowd . "'Racial Discourse and Partisanship in Politicized Cyberspace."  Committee: Paul McLean (chair), Ann Mische (Nortre Dame University), Karen Cerulo.

Anna Harewood. "Exploring Gender Definition in Recent Sociological Scholarship." Committee: Judith Gerson (chair), Patricia Roos, Kristen Springer.

Yu-Sheng Lin. "Every Decision You Make Matters: Dilemma-Solving and The Life Course of Social Movements." Committee: Ann Mische (co-chair), Paul McLean (co-chair), Lee Clarke, Catherine Lee.

Janet Lorenzen. "Going Green: Reducing Consumption in Contemporary America. Committee: Paul McLean (chair), Thomas Rudel, Karen A. Cerulo, Phaedra Daipha.

Bijita Majumdar. "Blurring Boundaries, Claiming Space: A Social History of Indians in South Africa, 1860-1915." Committee: Ethel Brooks (chair), Jozsef Borocz, Paul McLean, Ann Mische.

Maria V. Malyk. "Sincere Backhanded Compliments: Exploring Social, Semiotic and Cognitive Dimensions of Cryptosemic Interaction." Committe: Eviatar Zerubavel (chair), Ira Cohen, Paul McLean, Sarah Rosenfield.

Monique Porow. "A Comparative Study of Familial Racial Socialization and It's Impact on the Racial Identity Development of Black/White Biracial Siblings." Committee: Karen A. Cerulo (chair), Lauren J. Krivo, Arlene Stein.

Sourabh Singh. "Changing Political Field Structure and Modulations in Democracy Consolidation: India, 1947-1984." Committee: Paul McLean (chair), Ethel Brooks, Ann Mische.

Vikas Singh. "Contentious Globalization: Performance, Conflict, and Morality In A Popular Religious Movement." Committee: Arlene Stein (chair), Karen A. Cerulo, Jozsef Borocz.

Hsin-Yi Yeh. "National Identity, Collective Memory, and Mnemonic Engineering: Inventing A Chinese Nationality From 1949 through 1957." Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (chair), Paul McLean, Ann Mische.


Anna DaSilva. “Institutional Innovation in Global Health: Changing Roles of Stat & Non-State Actors in Governance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases.” Committee: Jozsef Borocz (chair) Catherine Lee, Paul McLean.

Neha Gondal. “Less-Institutionalized Social Structures: A Theoretical, Methodological, and Empirical Analysis Of How Networks and Culture Matter for Emergence.” Committee: Paul McLean (chair), Deborah Carr, Ann Mische, Eviatar Zerubavel.

Daina Harvey. “If This Thing Had Never Happened: Moving On From Hurricane Katrina.” Committee: Karen Cerulo (chair), Patrick Carr, Ann Mische, Arlene Stein.

Maria Islas-Lopez. “Future in the Present: Projective Practices in a Transnational Migrant Community.” Committee: Ann Mische (chair), Karen Cerulo, Hana Shepherd.

Oh-Jung Kwon. “Hegemonic Ideas versus Institutional Ethos in Korea’s Neoliberal Reforms During the Late 1900s Economic Crisis.” Committee: Tom Rudel (chair), Catherine Lee, Patricia Roos.

Tracie Witte. “Battling Moralities: Competing for Medical Marijuana Legislation.” Committee: Karen Cerulo (chair), Allan Horwitz, Julie Phillips.


Audrey Devine-Eller. “Preparing for Life After High School.” Committee: Patrick Carr (chair), Karen Cerulo, Phaedra Daipha, Arlene Stein. 

Rachelle Germana. “Hyphenation and It’s Discontents: Hyphenaters, Hyphen Haters, and the
Cultural Politics of Ambiguity.” Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (chair), Karen Cerulo, Ira Cohen, Richard Williams.

Chioun Lee. “Childhood Abuse and Physiological Dysregulation in Midlife and Old Age.” Committee: Deborah Carr (chair), Allan Horwitz, Kristen Springer, Helene White.

Colleen Nugent. “Parents Preferences for Mixed-Sex Children: Motivations, Fertility Behavior, and Psychological Well-Being.” Committee: Deborah Carr (chair), Julie Phillips, Kristen Springer.

Karen Stein. “Getting Away From It All: Constructing Identity on Vacation.” Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (chair), Deborah Carr, Karen Cerulo, Richard Williams.

Elizabeth Williamson. “Fostering Flexibility: Emotions, Power, and Framing Processes in a Socio-Religious Movement.” Committee: Benjamin Zablocki (chair), Karen Cerulo, Ann Mische.


Susan Bodnar-Deren. “Perceived Illness Burden: A Key to Understanding Advance Care Planning in Adults Nearing the End-Of-Life.” Committee: Deborah Carr (chair), Allan Horwitz, Ellen Idler. 

Ivana Brown. “A Sociological Analysis of Maternal Ambivalence: Class and Race Differences Among New Mothers.” Committee: Judith Gerson (chair), Deborah Carr, Sarah Rosenfield, Kristen Springer.

Manjusha Nair. “Persuasive Citizens, Unconvinced Radicals: Comparing Workers’ Politics In Two Towns in Central India.” Committee: Jozsef Borocz (chair), Ethel Brooks, Paul McLean, Robyn Rodriguez.

Frederick O. Rasmussen. “Cultural Definitions of Emotional Problems: Impact on Problem Experience, Care Seeking, Sources of Care, and Satisfaction with Care Among Latino Community Members Living in the United States.” Committee: Allan Horwitz (chair), Stephen Hansell, Karen A. Cerulo).

Dena T. Smith. “Mean-Making in a Medical World: The Art of Talk Therapy, the Science of the Biological Model and the Boundaries In Between.” Committee: Deborah Carr (chair), Patrick Carr, Phaedra Daipha, Allan Horwitz.


Dorota Szymkowiak. “Race Differences in Mental Health Services for Depression and Anxiety: Treatment Rates, Settings, and Quality among Whites, Blacks, and Latinos in the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys.” Committee: Deborah Carr (chair), Julie Phillips, Sarah Rosenfield.

Asia Friedman. “Blind to Sameness: The Socio-Optical Construction of Male and Female Bodies.” Committee: Eviatar Zerubavel (chair), Karen Cerulo, Judith Gerson, Arlene Stein.

Maria Mwikali Kioko. “Transnational Connections of First Generation Kenyan Immigrants in the United States.” Committee: Judith Gerson (chair), Ethel Brooks, Leslie McCall.

Dawne Mouzon. “Can Social Relationships Explain the Race Paradox in Mental Health?” Committee: Allan Horwitz (chair), Deborah Carr, Sarah Rosenfield, Kristen Springer.

Paul Reck. “Placing Race and Policing in Context: An Investigation of How Patrol Officers’ Perceptions of Racial Groups are Shaped by the Local Contexts in Which They are Embedded.”Committee: Paul Hirschfield (chair), Patrick Carr, Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Catherine Lee.

Previous Dissertations