Faculty Research Highlights
Details about faculty research are available in each faculty member's profile.
bullet Social Network Analysis in UVM Sociology: Sociology has been a hotbed of social network analysis since long before that term became associated with new technologies. Work by former faculty Frank Sampson and Steven Berkowitz, and by Beth Mintz, helped establish the core techniques of social network analysis that are now used widely both inside and outside academia. Starting with the investigation of what Georg Simmel called "the web of group affiliations," network analysis is an approach to social research that examines the ways in which social units or activities are organized, interrelated, and patterned. Frank Sampson studied community structure in a monastery, which lead to the creation of an important technique called block modeling. Berkowitz studied the structural transformation of merchant capitalists into an interconnected kinship group forming a modern upper class. Beth Mintz analyzed interlocking directorates as a vehicle for examining the power structure of American business. Sociology faculty have helped develop new methods and ways of thinking with both theoretical and real world applications. Mintz’s first major work on The Power Structure of American Business garnered guest appointments at Harvard and MIT, and became a model for social network analysis with wide impact both inside and outside academia: Google's first patent on the web searching algorithm that catapulted them into a global corporate power, for example, cites methodological work by Mintz and her colleagues on the centrality index.


bullet Kathy Fox Having returned from a Fulbright Senior Scholar semester in New Zealand, she recently published two new articles: (2013) "Incurable Sex Offenders, Lousy Judges & the Media: Moral Panic Sustenance in the Age of New Media," American Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 160-181. (2012) "Redeeming Communities: Restorative Offender Reentry in a Risk Society," Victims & Offenders, vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 97-120. She also recently completed a qualitative evaluation for Vermont Dept. of Corrections about their Circles of Support & Accountability program for offender reintegration. The model involves surrounding high-risk offenders with a circle of community volunteers to help them transition back to society. Professor Fox found that the program helped offenders de-institutionalize after a long prison stay, modeled pro-social relationships, and engendered positive relationships which had significant impacts on offenders desisting from crime. Research from Canada on the model found a 60+% reduction in reoffense among sex offenders. Vermont is one of the few states in the country using this model, but it is institutionalized in Canada and the UK.

bullet Thomas Macias WORK IN PROGRESS Macias, T. and Williams, K. "Know Your Neighbors, Save the Planet: Social Capital and the Widening Wedge of Pro-environmental Outcomes." Currently under peer review at the American Sociological Review. Macias, T. and Williams, K. "Mediating Environmental Concern: Direct and Indirect Effects of Social Capital on Energy Conservation." PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE PAPERS Macias, T. "A Social Capital Basis for Sustainable Living." June 2013. Presented at the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference in Portland, Oregon. Macias, T. and Williams, K. "Notable Social Capital Correlates with Pro-environmental Outcomes." August 2013. Table session in the Meeting of the American Sociological Association, New York City.

bullet Thomas Streeter Edited a collection of articles forthcoming this fall in Communication, Culture, and Critique on the study of discourse, of language and style, in communication policy formation. Articles cover topics ranging from the role of comic books in copyright policies to the discursive character of the net neutrality debates, and include a piece by Streeter, "Policy, Politics, and Discourse."

bullet Beth Mintz Continues her work on problems in contemporary higher education, for example, a paper at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Society in August entitled, "The Revenge of Neoliberalism: The Student as Customer and the Student Debt Crisis." She also remains involved in many leadership roles at UVM and in the field, as evidenced in a paper delivered at the Eastern Sociological Society in Feb. entitled, "The Faculty Women's Caucus as an Organizing Tool: Parental leave at the University of Vermont." She also recently completed a term as the Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society.

bullet Dan Krymkowski Continues his work using quantitative analysis to explain the cultural, class, and ethnic factors that explain why and how some people use outdoor recreation more than others. His recent article, comparing U.S. and Turkish use of national parks, "Cultural Influence on Crowding Norms in Outdoor Recreation" (with Sayan, Manning, Valliere, and Rovelstad), was published in Environmental Management in May, 2013. Also see “Sociology by the Numbers” “Dan Krymkowski has a simple way of describing the complicated research he's conducted for more than two decades on social stratification. "I study who gets ahead," he says. The mathematical formulas he uses to draw conclusions about why some people get ahead while others never attain social advantages like education, money and social status are a little more complicated.”

bullet Professor Emeritus Stephen Cutler Continues his research on an aging and the life course in Romania and elsewhere, publishing and presenting works both in Romania (e.g., "Long-term Implications for Widowhood of Romania's Decree No. 770" REVISTA DE ASISTENŢĂ SOCIALĂ) and elsewhere (e.g., with Hodgson, "Concerns about Cognitive Functioning, Dementia Worries, and Psychological Well-being," paper to be presented at the 23rd Alzheimer Europe Conference, St. Julian’s, Malta, 10-12 October, 2013.)

bullet Daniel Krymkowski "THE ETHNIC, RACE, AND GENDER GAPS IN WORKPLACE AUTHORITY: Changes over Time in the United States", co-authored with Beth Mintz We analyze factors explaining differences in hierarchical authority between men and women within and across categories of race and ethnicity in two time periods, finding that the processes leading to authority within the workplace operate differently by gender than by race or ethnicity. The demand-side factor, percentage of women in an occupation, helps explain authority differences between men and women in most groups. Supply-side factors, and, in white-black comparisons, occupational location, contribute to differences by race and ethnicity within genders. In the later period, education is particularly important for Hispanic men reflecting, we believe, the recent surge in immigration rates.

bullet Beth Mintz"THE ETHNIC, RACE, AND GENDER GAPS IN WORKPLACE AUTHORITY: Changes over Time in the United States", co-authored with Daniel Krymkowski We analyze factors explaining differences in hierarchical authority between men and women within and across categories of race and ethnicity in two time periods, finding that the processes leading to authority within the workplace operate differently by gender than by race or ethnicity. The demand-side factor, percentage of women in an occupation, helps explain authority differences between men and women in most groups. Supply-side factors, and, in white–black comparisons, occupational location, contribute to differences by race and ethnicity within genders. In the later period, education is particularly important for Hispanic men reflecting, we believe, the recent surge in immigration rates.

bullet Kathy Fox - "Second Chances: A Comparison of Civic Engagement Models for Offender Reentry" - Forthcoming in theCriminal Justice Review, Vol. 35, No. 3, September 2010. This paper analyzes offender reentry program models and outlines their designs' ability to enact Bazemore and Stinchcomb’s (2004) notion of a “civic engagement model of reentry.” The vexing challenges of formally reintegrating returning offenders to communities are discussed.

bullet Nikki Khanna "IF YOU'RE HALF BLACK, YOU'RE JUST BLACK": Reflected Appraisals and the Persistence of the One-Drop Rule" Despite growing interest in multiracial identity, much of the research remains atheoretical and limited in its approach to measuring identity. Taking a multidimensional approach to identity and drawing on reflected appraisals (how they think others see them), I examine racial identity among black-white adults in the South and the lingering influence of the one-drop rule. Most respondents internally identify as black and when asked to explain these black identities, they describe how both blacks and whites see them as black. I argue that the one-drop rule still shapes racial identity, namely through the process of reflected appraisals.