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Amy Binder

Professor, Chair

Amy Binder received her BA in Anthropology from Stanford University and her MA and PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University. Her principal research interests are in the areas of education, politics, culture, and organizations.

Professor Binder’s CV is available here

Professor Binder’s first book, Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools (Princeton 2002), explored two challenges posed to public school systems in the 1990s. 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 second book, Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives (Princeton 2013), examined how right-leaning college students experience life at two universities—one an elite private institution, the other a major public university. The book revealed two distinctive styles that young conservatives embrace, each of them shaped by campus context and the outside organizations in the conservative ecosystem. Becoming Right was widely reviewed, including in The New Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Boston Globe.

Currently, Professor Binder is finishing a book manuscript that picks up where Becoming Right left off. In this project, she and co-author Jeffrey Kidder examine student activism across the ideological spectrum on four public university campuses. They expect the book to be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2021. An article from this project has been published as Trumpism on College Campuses.

In addition to studying the intersection of education and politics, Professor Binder recently completed a series of articles with UC San Diego graduate students researching the links between universities and the labor market. These include

At the request of Sage Publications, Professor Binder and Daniel Davis filmed two videos about their research:

Among other activities, Professor Binder served as the 2014-2015 Chair of the Sociology of Education section of the American Sociological Association, was a deputy editor of the journal Sociology of Education, and is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

She currently serves as chair of the Department of Sociology at UC San Diego.