Sociology Faculty Research Interests

Dr. Derné is actively researching in the following areas: Well-Being, Wonder, Nonordinary Experiences, Wander, Nature and Society, Wisdoms from India, and Non-normative Research Methodologies. These research projects relate to Derné’s earlier engagements in the sociology of culture, sociology of gender, and the sociology of emotions. Derné involves undergraduate students in each of these research projects as he works with them to develop research questions, design interviews, conduct and analyze interviews, engage in and analyze sociological introspection, and analyze documents to improve understandings of well-being, emotions, wonder, nonordinary experiences, wander, and nature and society. Details of these ongoing research projects can be found on his faculty web page (
Dr. Eisenberg's research interest centers on the vital role of social interactions for shaping and maintaining identity, particularly within the groups to which we belong.  She is currently working on two projects related to studying identity. The first project, in the area of neurosociology, examines the impact of changing social networks on identity maintenance and neurological health.  The second project is testing her newly developed theory of identity matrices by examining Polish Jewish identity in three main cities in Poland - Warsaw, Krakow, and Lodz.

Dr. Lofquist's research deals with historical and contemporary patterns of death penalty use, particularly the relationship between systems of racial control such as slavery and lynching and the death penalty. He also researches wrongful convictions.

Dr. McLaughlin's primary interest is in tracing the parallels between the Darwinian revolution and changes currently occurring within various subfields of the social sciences.  He has also done empirical research in organizational ecology, including studies of the cooperative movement in Saskatchewan, Canada and the U.S. environmental movement.  Dr. McLaughlin's current research is focused on the use of evolutionary models to understand the dynamics of vulnerability to climate change and other natural hazards.  The goal of his research is to produce better models for identifying vulnerable populations and strategies to mitigate their risk.

Dr. Meyer's research is in the area of economic globalization, specifically the relationship between trade and investment liberalization and gender relations in national labor markets. Feminist, world system, and international political economy models are central to her analyses. In addition, she is interested in the rise of global social movements (e.g. labor, feminist, environmental) as they relate to global economic processes that have taken shape over the last twenty years.

Dr. Restivo's work focuses broadly on national and global disparities in health, technology, and environmental resources. His research uses quantitative and longitudinal methods to study concerns such as maternal mortality from a macro comparative perspective. His past work has focused on lending policies of institutions such as the World Bank and African Development Bank. He is beginning a new series of projects examining health inequalities in the U.S., looking at how community-level inequalities such as those that pertain to socioeconomic status and gender are related to differential risks to reproductive health.

Dr. Scott's recent research has been on women in corporate government affairs, specifically gender differences in the work and family connections of government affairs managers. Using in-depth interviews and a mail survey, she finds that both women and men are highly involved in networking at all levels of business and government yet the character of their connections differ significantly. Her research interests include the study of women's organizations and relations between legislative staff and government relations manager.

Dr. Tamura's research interests center on the consequences of globalization on schools in various societies including Japan and the United States. He has also worked on and is planning to continue a comparative examination of social movements and revolutions.