UMass Boston

Research & Impact

Full-time Sociology faculty members have earned doctorates from major universities and are active researchers in their fields of study. Our lecturers are active in urban affairs, clinical settings, and criminal justice administration, and many conduct research as well. 

Faculty Research Specializations

Globalization, Immigration and Migration:
Capetillo, Montalva Barba, Okigbo, Solari

Criminology, Law and Punishment: 
BrownContreras, GascónLeverentz, Zaykowski

Race/Ethnicity and Urban/Community: 
Contreras, Gascón, Okigbo

Critical Race Theory: 
Montalva Barba

Montalva Barba, Okigbo, Solari

Culture, Group Processes, and Identity:  
Capetillo, Okigbo, RodriquezSolari, StewartYoungreen

Mental Health, Health and Aging:  
Contreras, Rodriquez
Burr, Mutchler, Stokes, Sprague

Political Sociology and Public Policy: 
Brown, Stewart
Kallman, MacIndoe, Warren

Research Methods:  

Current Funded Projects

Professor Daniel Gascón: 2023-2024 Principal Investigator, Moral Wars, Articulation, and Mass Criminalization in the United States. UMass Boston Pedagogical Innovation Award, $3,100. The study draws on newspaper articles and government reports to examine the institutional and organizational contexts of police brutality in Los Angeles and Boston during the height of the so-called "Superpredator" panic of the 1980s and 1990s.

Professor Miguel Montalva Barba: 2024-2025 Principal Investigator, Witnessing the Emplacement of Whiteness: Gentrification through the Experience of Black and Latine Folks. Russell Sage Foundation, $35,000. This research focus on whether Black and Latine folks' narratives about the emplacement of Whiteness focus on the loss of community and the literal and figurative frequency of cultural displacement of people of color.

Professor Cinzia Solari: 2022-2024 Principal Investigator, Nonbinary and Transgender Students’ Experiences Navigating High School. UMass Boston Healey Grant, $7,176. The study aims to uncover school practices that support nonbinary and transgender students as well as propose new practices, derived from our data, that might increase inclusion.

Professor Evan Stewart: 2023–2024 Principal Investigator, Religion, Spirituality, and Religious Renewal. Social Science Research Council, $11,110. This project investigates whether the rise of nonreligion and nonspirituality is challenging religious institutions, and thus detrimental to the health of American democracy.

Recent Publications

Gascón, D., Mejia-Mesinas, A., Perez, X., Sanabria, J., and Sclofsky, S. (Forthcoming). Policing and State Crime in the Americas: Postcolonial and Southern Perspectives. Palgrave-MacMillan.

Gascón, D. (2023). Structural Strain, Intersectionality, and Mass Murder: A Case Study of the Isla Vista Shooting. In All American Massacre: The Tragic Role of American Culture and Society in Mass Shootings, edited by Madfis, E. and Lankford, A. New York: New York University Press.

Gascón, D. (2023). The Hispanic Outreach: Network Analysis of a Community-Based Policing Program in South Los Angeles. Critical Sociology, 0(0).

Gascón, D. (2023). Uncomfortable Kinship: An Ethnography on the Professional World of Gang Experts and Street Outreach Workers in South Los Angeles. Social Justice, Vol. 49 (1): 81-110.

Montalva Barba, Miguel. 2024. White Supremacy and Racism in Progressive America: Race, Place, and Space. Bristol University Press.

Montalva Barba, Miguel. 2023. To move forward, we must look back: White supremacy at the base of urban studies. Urban Studies, 60(5), 791-810.

Okigbo, Karen Amaka. 2023. "Nigerian Intermarriage: Making Black Diversity Visible." Contexts, 22(1):60-62.

Rodriquez, Jason, Anmol Gupta, Staci Ballard, and Gary Siperstein. “Positive Identity Development through Community Engagement Among Emergent Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 2023.

Solari, Cinzia D. and Skylar Rathvon. 2024. Cedarwood Public High School Equity Report: Focus on Trans and Nonbinary Students. Conference papers – American Sociological Association, 1-40.

Solari, Cinzia D. “Gender, Modernity, and Russia’s War on Ukraine.” Footnotes: A Magazine of the American Sociological Association 51(1). 2023.

Radhakrishnan, Smitha and Cinzia D. Solari (equal coauthors). 2023. The Gender Order of Neoliberalism. Polity Press.

Stewart, Evan. 2023. "Rethinking Religion & Political Participation: The Case of Voting Among Religiously Unaffiliated Americans." Sociology of Religion. Online first.

Stewart, Evan, Penny Edgell, and Jack Delehanty. “Public Religion and Gendered Attitudes.Social Problems. 2023. Online first.

Stewart, Evan, and Diane Beckman. 2023. "Shifting or Settled? Tracking Racial Animus During COVID-19." Social Psychology Quarterly. 86(3):312-333.

Dacey, Timothy and Evan Stewart. 2023. "The Green Elephants in the Room: Perceived Environmental Harm and Support for Regulation Among Republicans." Sociological Inquiry 93(2):250-72.