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Professor of Sociology
Contact Info
Website: https://stephen-poulson.blog/



2002 Ph.D., Sociology, Virginia Polytechnic and State University 1990

1990 M.A., International Affairs, Florida State University

1988 B.S., Political Science, James Madison University


Courses Taught
  • Sociological Inquiry (Methods)
  • Social Movements
  • Social Movements of the Middle East
  • Social Issues in a Global Context and Political Sociology

Social Movements, Applied Sociology, Conflict Resolution, Political Sociology, Sociology of Sport, Middle Eastern Politics

Work In Progress


The Logic of Ethnic and Religious Violence in Iraq. In preparation. This study investigates patterns of violence directed toward civilians during civil war. In particular, why and how violence is used as tactic to control territory and people.

Articles (* designates student co-author)

“Material Culture and Scooter Mobility: An inquiry into how social class and gender affects material culture.” This study uses qualitative interviews with people that use scooters as a primary form of transportation. It also uses pictures of the scooter user with their machine. To be submitted to Mobilities.



Poulson, Stephen C. Forthcoming. Racism on Campus: A Visual History of Prominent Virginia Colleges and Howard University. New York: Routledge Press.  https://www.routledge.com/Racism-on-Campus-A-Visual-History-of-Prominent-Virginia-Colleges-and-Howard/Poulson/p/book/9780367681562

Poulson, Stephen C. 2016. Why Would Anyone Do That? Lifestyle Sport in the Twenty-First Century. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press

Poulson, Stephen C. 2005. Social Movements in Twentieth-Century Iran: Culture, Ideology and Mobilizing Frameworks. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books (re-issued in paper in 2006).


Articles in Refereed Journals and Texts (*designates student co-author)

Poulson, Stephen C (with Haley McGee* and Tyler Wolfe*). 2020. “Racism on Campus: Yearbook pictures from prominent Virginia colleges (1890-1930)," Contexts 19(4): 56-61.  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1536504220977937

Poulson, Stephen C. (with Kelly A. Burke*). 2018. “Levels of Combatant Control and the Patterns of Non-Incumbent/Insurgent Violence Experienced by Civilians Living in Sunni–Arab Communities in Iraq (2004–2009),” Medicine, Conflict and Survival 34(2): 95-120.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C., (with Timothy J. Carter and Daniel Max Crowley*). 2018. “Cooperative Accounts: Avoiding Conflict and Repairing Social Relations.” Symbolic Interaction 41(2):143-164.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C. 2017. “Patterns of Violence Directed Against Civilians in Small Ethnic Enclaves During War In Iraq (2003-2009).” In Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, edited by Julie Mazzei, Vol. 41:69-105. London, UK: Emerald Publishing Group.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C. (with Cory Caswell* and Latasha Grey*). 2014. “Institutional Parochialism and the Study of Social Movements,” Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest 13(2):222-242.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C. (with Thomas Ratliff and Emily Dollieslager*). 2013. “You Have to Fight! For Your Right! To Party! Structure, Culture and Mobilization in a University Party Riot.” In Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, edited by Patrick G. Coy, Vol. 36: 271-305. London, UK: Emerald Publishing Group.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C. 2011. “Parochialism in Social Scientific Study of Religion: Response to Cornwall,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 50(2):227–228.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C. (with Colin Campbell*) 2010. “Isomorphism, Institutional Parochialism, and the Sociology of Religion,” The American Sociologist 41(1):31-47.  Click here.

Poulson, Stephen C. 2009. “Nested Institutions, Political Opportunity and the Decline of the Iranian Reform Movement Post 9/11,” American Behavioral Scientist 53(1):27-43.  Click here.  

Poulson, Stephen C. 2009. “Autism, Through a Social Lens,” Contexts: Understanding People in the Social World 8(2):40-46.  Click here.

          Reprinted: Hartmann, Douglas and Uggen, Christopher (Editors) 2011. The Contexts Reader.    “Autism, Through a Social Lens,” pp. 373-381. New York: W.W. Norton Company.


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