Ph.D. - Northwestern, 1998
Areas of Specialization: Culture, Conservative Social Movements, Education, Organizations
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number: 858-534-0483
Office location: 492 Social Science Building
SOCI 115- Social Problems
SOCI 126- Social Organization of Education
Amy Binder received her B.A in Anthropology from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. Her principal research interests are in the areas of cultural sociology, education, social movements, and organizations.
Her first book Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools (Princeton 2002) explored two challenges made to public school social studies and science curricula. The book received the 2003 Best Book Prize of the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association, the 2003 Distinguished Scholarship Prize of the Pacific Sociological Association, and the 2004 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Professor Binder’s new book, Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives, was published in January 2013. Co-authored with UC San Diego doctoral student Kate Wood, the book looks at how today’s right-leaning college students experience life on two university campuses—one an elite private institution, the other a major public university—and how they belong to a web of conservative organizations that provide considerable resources to them. In this work, the authors show that the college years are not simply a time when students consolidate their natural political inclinations developed in the family and high school but, rather, are a highly influential period during which students learn recognizable conservative styles, such as “provocation” and “civilized discourse.” Different conservative styles, in this view, are largely the result of specific university settings, and these styles have significant consequences in today’s larger political world.
Becoming Right has been reviewed widely, including in:
The New Republic (http://www.newrepublic.com/book/review/campus-conservatives-gop)
The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://forums.chronicle.com/article/Conservative-Styles-in-Campus/135958/#top)
Times Higher Education (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=422225)
Professor Binder’s new projects include a comparative study of college-age libertarians and conservatives (with Liana Gamber Thompson); political polarization of the media, using a Big Data, or computational, approach to data collection and analysis (with Edward Hunter); and a comparative study of three elite universities’ differing influence on students’ career aspirations—in particular, their aspirations for careers in finance, law, and consulting.
Professor Binder is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and will be deputy editor of the journal Sociology of Education 2013-2016, working alongside Rob Warren (editor), Hyunjoon Park (deputy editor) and Eric Grodsky (deputy editor).
At UC San Diego she is a founding member and organizer of an interdisciplinary workshop called The Workshop for the Study of Conservative Movements and has co-organized four UCSD Culture Conferences, resulting in a widely read special issue of The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science called “Cultural Sociology and Its Diversity”
Professor Binder also is a board member for The Preuss School, UC San Diego’s award-winning charter middle and high school for first generation college-goers.