Faculty & Staff
Erin O’Brien, PhD
- Associate Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts
- 617.287.6939 Telephone:
- firstname.lastname@example.org Email:
100 Morrissey Blvd. Office Location: Wheatley Hall, 5th Floor, Room 69
Areas of Expertise
Public Policy; Politics of Poverty and U.S. Social Welfare Policy; Stratification, Politics, and Policy; Political Behavior; Urban Politics; Research Methods and Epistemology; American Politics
PhD, American University
Professor Erin E. O’Brien’s research and teaching interests focus on two main fields: the politics of poverty and social welfare policy and the politics of mass opinion and behavior. Within these fields, and at both the individual and collective level, she examines how gender, race and ethnicity, social class, and other group cleavages affect political processes and policy outcomes. Her work employs a variety of methods and approaches to social science in order to examine the connections among social policy, political thought and action, inequality, and patterns of stratification and identity associated with social groups.
Professor O’Brien's book, The Politics of Identity: Solidarity Building among America’s Working Poor, appears in Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram’s public policy series published by The State University of New York (SUNY) Press (July, 2008). She has also authored or co-authored articles and book chapters appearing in venues including the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Women & Politics, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Religious Convictions and Practices in Public Life (Praeger 2008), Campaigns and Elections American Style (Westview, 2004 2ed.), and Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform (University of Michigan, 2003). Other works include a co-edited volume, Diversity in Contemporary American Politics and Government, published by Pearson-Longman Press (September, 2008).
Professor O’Brien is past president of the Southern Political Science Women’s Caucus, co-program chair of the 2009 New England Political Science Association Annual Meeting, and recipient, along with co-author Jason MacDonald, of the 2008 Sophinisba Breckinridge Award for best paper on gender-related topics presented at the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual meeting. She has given invited lectures and keynote addresses to academic and practitioner audiences in China, South Korea, for NPR, and across the United States.