Faculty & Staff

Russell K. Schutt, PhD

Professor and Department Chair of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Boston


photo of Russell Schutt

Areas of Expertise

Research Methods, Sociology of Organizations, Homelessness and Mental Health Services, Sociology of Law


PhD, University of Illinois, Chicago

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Russell K. Schutt, PhD, is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he has also served as Graduate Program Director. He received the 2007 Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Service.

Since 1990, he has also been a Lecturer on Sociology in the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, where he conducts research on mental health services and psychiatric disability. His primary research foci are organizations and work, mental health services, and legal processes; he is also an expert on the application of social science research methods. His research on organizations and work has focused on subjective reactions to work and the organization of work in settings ranging from mental health, public health and public welfare agencies to homeless shelters, vocational rehabilitation programs and the construction trades.

His research in mental health services has examined the effects of the social environment on neurocognition, the housing preferences of homeless mentally ill persons and their correspondence to clinician preferences, and influences on housing loss. His latest book, Homelessness, Housing and Mental Illness (Harvard University Press) presents a theoretically-grounded multi-method analysis of housing alternatives for homeless mentally ill adults and elucidates through that analysis the importance of the development of community. He is the author of a leading social science research methods text, Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research, now in its 5th edition, and three coauthored derivative versions for other disciplines. He is also author of Organization in a Changing Environment: The Unionization of Welfare Employees, coeditor of The Organizational Response to Social Problems, and coauthor of Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice. In addition, he has authored and coauthored more than 50 journal articles and book chapters on homelessness, mental health, organizations, law, and teaching research methods.

His recent research projects include a National Cancer Institute-funded study of community health workers’ orientations to cancer clinical trials, co-directing a multi-method investigation of case management in the Massachusetts Women’s Health Network program, leading a large expert panel charged with improving that program, and studying long-term effects of housing experiences among persons with chronic mental illness. His recent scholarly articles have focused on the impact of housing, vocational, and service options on the functioning of persons diagnosed as severely mentally ill and on the housing preferences and recommendations of homeless persons and service personnel. He has also studied decision-making in juvenile justice and in union admissions, processes of organizational change; media representations of mental illness; and HIV/AIDS prevention. Russell Schutt completed his BA, MA, and PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Sociology of Social Control Training Program at Yale University.

Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters

Healey Library, 10th floor, Room 1
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393 USA