Recent Faculty Publications


Mueller, Anna S., Seth Abrutyn, and Cynthia Stockton. Forthcoming 2015. "Can Social Ties be Harmful? Examining the Social Dynamics of Suicide Suggestion in Early Adulthood." Sociological Perspectives. Published online first November 17, 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0731121414556544

Hoeninger, C. and Carol Rambo. Forthcoming 2015. "Emotion Work in the Martial Arts." Journal of Social Anthropology.

Presson, Brittany and Carol Rambo. Forthcoming 2015. "Claiming, Resisting, and Exempting Pathology in the Identities of Self-injurers." Deviant Behavior.

Rambo, Carol. Forthcoming 2015. "Living with Parents with Intellectual Disability: Ambiguity and the Role of Social Services and Support." International Journal of Crime, Criminal Justice, and Law.

Rushing, Wanda. Forthcoming 2015. "Regionalism." Critical Terms for Southern Studies, eds. Jennifer Rae Greeson and Scott Romine. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.


Abrutyn, Seth. 2015. "Pollution-Purification Rituals, Cultural Memory, and the Evolution of Religion: How Collective Trauma Shaped Ancient Israel." American Journal of Cultural Sociology.3(1):123-155.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2015. "The Institutional Evolution of Religion: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Ancient Israel." Religion. DOI:10.1080/0048721X.2015.1009864

Abrutyn, Seth and Justin Van Ness. 2015. "Institutional Entrepreneurship as Sociocultural Analogy to Biological Mutation: Considering One Source of Institutional Evolution." Thesis Eleven 127: 52-77.

Lawrence, Kirk and Seth Abrutyn. 2015. "The Degradation of Nature and the Growth of Environmental Concern: Toward a Theory of the Capture and Limits of Ecological Value." Human Ecology Review 21(1):87-108.

Mueller, Anna S. and Seth Abrutyn. 2015. "Suicidal Disclosures among Friends: Using Social Network Data to Understand Suicide Contagion." Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 56(1):131-148.

Mueller, Anna S.,Wesley James, Seth Abrutyn, and Martin Levin. 2015. "Suicide Ideation and Bullying among U.S. Adolescents: Examining the Intersections of Sexual Orientation, Gender & Race/Ethnicity" American Journal of Public Health 105(5): 980-985.


Abrutyn, Seth. 2014. "Religious Autonomy and Religious Entrepreneurship: An Evolutionary-Institutionalist's Take on the Axial Age." Comparative Sociology. 13(2):105-134.

Abrutyn, Seth and Anna S. Mueller. 2014. "The Socioemotional Structure of Suicide: A Microsociological View of Durkheim's Suicide." Sociological Theory 32(4): 327-351.

Abrutyn, Seth and Anna S. Mueller. 2014. "Are Suicidal Behaviors Contagious in Adolescence?: Using Longitudinal Data to Examine Suicide Suggestion." American Sociological Review. 79(2): 211 – 227.

Abrutyn, Seth and Anna S. Mueller. 2014. "Reconsidering Durkheim's Assessment of Tarde: Formalizing a Tardian Theory of Imitation, Contagion, and Suicide Suggestion." Sociological Forum 29(3): 698-719.

Grier, Tiffanie, Carol Rambo, and Marshall A. Taylor. 2014. "'What Are You?': Racial Ambiguity, Stigma, and the Racial Formation Project." Deviant Behavior: 35(12): 1006-1022. DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2014.901081.

Guthrie, Doug, Zhixing Xiao, and Junmin Wang. 2014. "Stability, Asset Management, and Gradual Change in China's Reform Economy." In China's State Capitalism: Growth and Crisis, edited by Kellee Tsai and Barry Naughton. New York: Cambridge University Press.

James, Wesley. 2014. "All Rural Places Are Not Created Equal: Revisiting the Rural Mortality Penalty in the United States." American Journal of Public Health 104(11): 2122-2129.

James, Wesley. 2014. "Teaching Introduction to Sociology to Pre-Medical Students." American Sociological Association: TRAILS.

James, Wesley, Ronald Cossman, and Neal Feierabend. 2014. "Integrating Spatial and Time Sensitive Data to Monitor Social Patterns: A Dynamic Methodology for Studying Social Issues." Journal of Maps, Special Issue: Innovative Mapping in Spatial Demography, 10(2): 308-312,

Rushing, Wanda. 2014. "We're Going to Graceland: Globalization and the Reimagining of Memphis,"in Sounds and the City: Popular Music, Place, and Globalization, eds. Brett Lashua, Stephen Wagg and Karl Spracklen. (Aldershot: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Taylor, Marshall and Carol Rambo. 2015. "White Shame, White Pride: Emotional Cultures, Feeling Rules, and Emotion Exemplars in White Supremacist Movement Music." International Journal of Crime, Criminal Justice, and Law 8(2): 107-134.


Abrutyn, Seth. 2013. Revisiting Institutionalism in Sociology: Putting the "Institution" Back in Institutional Analysis. New York: Routledge.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2013. "Reconceptualizing the Dynamics of Religion as a Macro Institutional Domain." Structure and Dynamics. 6(3):1-21.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2013. "Revisiting and Reinvigorating Evolutionary Sociology: Bringing Institutions Back to Life." Current Perspectives in Social Theory. 31:247-76.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2013. "Reconceptualizing Religious Evolution: Toward a General Theory of Macro-Institutional Change." Social Evolution and History 12(2):5-36.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2013. "Political Evolution, Entrepreneurship, and Autonomy: Causes and Consequences of an "Axial" Moment." Research in Political Sociology 21:3-29.

Abrutyn, Seth. 2013. "Teaching Sociological Theory for a New Century: Contending with the Time Crunch." The American Sociologist 44(2):132-54.

Frank, Kenneth, Chandra Muller, and Anna S. Mueller. 2013. "The Embeddedness of Adolescent Friendship Nominations: The Formation of Social Capital in Emergent Network Structures" American Journal of Sociology 119(1): 216-253.

Loftus, Jeni, Brian C. Kelly, and Sarah A. Mustillo. 2013. "Predictors of Entry into Age-Discordant Relationships." Deviant Behavior 34: 513-533.

Rambo, Carol. 2013. "Twitch: A Performance of Chronic Liminality." Pp. 627-638 in Handbook of Autoethnography, edited by S.H. Jones, T. Adams, and C. Ellis. CA: Left Coast Press.

Robinson, Keith, and Anna S. Mueller. 2014. "The Early Link between Cumulative Disadvantage in Mathematics and Behavioral Engagement in Learning: Findings from Kindergarten." American Journal of Education 120(3): 325-349.

Wang, Junmin. 2013. State-Market Interactions in China's Reform Era: Local State Competition and Global Market Building in the Tobacco Industry. London and New York: Routledge.

Winters, Lisa, Wanda Rushing, Martin Levin, and Troy Blanchard. 2013. "Deindustrialization, Class, and Adolescents: Changing Gender Attitudes in Middletown." Sociology Mind 1:3:114-120.


Abrutyn, Seth. 2012. "Towards a General Theory of Institutional Ecology: The Dynamics of Macro Structural Space." Review of European Studies 4(5):167-80.

Cosby, Arthur, Kristen Aanstoos, Marissa Matta, Jeremy Porter, and Wesley James. 2012. "Public Support for Hispanic Deportation in the United States: The Effects of Ethnic Prejudice and Perceptions of Economic Competition in a Period of Economic Distress." Journal of Population Research, doi:10.1007/s12546-012-9102-9.

James, Wesley, Chunrong Jia, and Satish Kedia. 2012. "Uneven Magnitude of Disparities in Cancer Risks from Air Toxics." International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Special Issue: Social and Economical Determinants of Health, 9: 4365-4385,doi:10.3390/ijerph9124365.

James, Wesley and Jeremy Porter. 2012. "Inequality, Health Infrastructure, and Spatial Context: Understanding Pathways to Variations in the Causal Determinants of Race-Specific Mortality Rates." Sociological Spectrum, 32 (4): 322-345.

Loftus, Jeni and Angie Andriot. 2012. "'That's What Makes a Woman': Women's Infertility and a Failed Life Course Transition." Sociological Spectrum 32: 226-243.

Loftus, Jeni and Brian C. Kelly. 2012. "The Effects of Relationships with Older Females on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health of Adolescent Boys." The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 38: 267-271.

Loftus, Jeni and Brian C. Kelly. 2012. "Short-Term Sexual Health Effects of Relationships with Significantly Older Females on Adolescent Boys." Journal of Adolescent Health. 50: 195-197.

Shao H, Breitner CSJ, Whitmer RA, Wang, Junmin, Hayden K, Wengreen H, Corcoran C, Tschanz J, Norton M, Munger R, Welsh-Bohmer K, Zandi PP. 2012."Hormone Therapy and AD Dementia: New Findings from the Cache County Study." Neurology. 79(18): 1846-1852.

Wang, Junmin, Doug Guthrie, and Zhixing Xiao. 2012."The Rise of SASAC: Asset Management, Ownership Concentration, and Firm Performance in China's Capital Markets." Management and Organization Review. Vol.8 (2): 253-281. Excepts published in Chinese as "The Rise and Effects of State Owned Asset Management Companies in China." Chinese Management Insights (17).


Abrutyn, Seth and Jonathan H. Turner. 2011. "The Old Institutionalism Meets the New Institutionalism." Sociological Perspectives 54(3):283-306.

Sanderson, Stephen K., Abrutyn, Seth, and Kristopher Proctor. 2011. "Testing the Protestant Ethic Thesis with Quantitative Historical Data: A Research Note." Social Forces 89(3):1-7.

Loftus, Jeni, Brian C. Kelly, and Sarah A, Mustillo. 2011. "Depressive Symptoms among Adolescent Girls in Relationships with Older Partners: Causes and Lasting Effects?" Journal of Youth and Adolescence 40: 800-813.

Loftus, Jeni and Paul R. Namaste. 2011. "Expectant Mothers: Explaining Women's Infertility using Identity Theory." Qualitative Sociology Review 7:36-54.

Mueller, Anna S. 2011. "Education" in the Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology, Edited by George Ritzer and J. Michael Ryan. Wiley-Blackwell.


Abrutyn, Seth and Kirk Lawrence. 2010. "From Chiefdom to State: Toward an Integrative Theory of the Evolution of Polity." Sociological Perspectives 53(3):419-42.

Cossman, Ronald, Jeralynn Cossman, Wesley James, Troy Blanchard, Richard Thomas, Louis Pol, and Arthur Cosby. 2010. "Correlating Pharmaceutical Data with a National Health Survey as a Proxy for Estimating Rural Population Health." Population Health Metrics, 8(25):1-17.

Cossman, Jeralynn, Wesley James, Arthur Cosby, and Ronald Cossman. 2010. "Underlying Causes of the Emerging Nonmetropolitan Penalty." American Journal of Public Health, 100 (8): 1417-1419.

James, Wesley and Ronald Cossman. 2010. "Using Maps to Monitor At-Risk Geographic Areas of Heart Disease: Tracking Access to Prescription Medication and Mortality Rates." Journal of Maps, 2010: 478-487.

Levin, Martin, Kim S. Miller, Amy Fasula, Carol Lin, Sarah Wyckoff and Rex Forehand, "Ready, Set, Go: African American: Preadolescents' Sexual Thoughts, Intentions and Behaviors" published online ahead of print December 28, 2010 at The Journal of EarlyAdolescence, in print Volume 32(2), 2012, pp;. 293-307.

Levin, Martin, Lisa Winters, Wanda Rushing and Troy Blanchard. 2011. "Deindustrialization, Class, and Adolescents: Changing Gender Attitudes in Middletown", Sociology Mind, Volume 1, No. 3, October 2011, pp. 114-120.

Mueller, Anna S., Jennifer Pearson, Chandra Muller, Kenneth Frank and Alyn Turner. 2010. "Sizing Up Peers: Adolescent Girls' Weight Control and Social Comparison in the School Context." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 51(1): 64-78.

Vannini, Phillip, Dennis Waskul, Simon Gottschalk and Carol Rambo. 2010. "Sound Acts: Elocution, Somatic Work, and the Performance of Sonic Alignment." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 39 (3) : 328-353.

Rushing,Wanda. 2010. The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Urbanization, Editor, University of North Carolina Press. Volume 15 of the 24 volume series under the general editorship of Charles Reagan Wilson, Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.

Wang, Junmin. 2010. "Enlightened Localism in Contemporary China: Political Change in Property-Rights Institutions of Township and Village Enterprises." Comparative Sociology. Vol. 9: 631-662.


Guthrie, Doug, Zhixing Xiao, and Junmin Wang. 2009. "Asset Management and Productivity in Reform-Era China." Research in the Sociology of Work. Vol. 19: Work and Organizations in China after Thirty Years of Transition. Edited by Lisa Keister. Pp35-69.

Guthrie, Doug and Junmin Wang. 2009 [2006]. "Changing Social Institutions." in Doug Guthrie, China and Globalization: The Social, Economic, and Political Transformation of Chinese Society. Revised Edition. New York: Routledge

Guthrie, Doug and Junmin Wang. 2009 [2006]. "Changing Life Chances." in Doug Guthrie, China and Globalization: The Social, Political, and Economic Transformation of Chinese Society. Revised Edition. New York: Routledge

Loftus, Jeni. 2009. "'Oh No, I'm Not Infertile': Culture, Support Groups and the Infertile Identity." Sociological Focus 42: 394-416.

Mueller, Anna S. 2009. "Body Image, Childhood and Adolescence" in the Encyclopedia of the Life Course and Human Development (Vol. 1) (58-62), Edited by Deborah Carr. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

Porter, Jeremy, Ronald Cossman, and Wesley James. 2009. "Research Note: Imputing Large Group Averages for Missing Data, Using Rural-Urban Continuum Codes for Density Driven Industry Sectors." Journal of Population Research, 26 (3): 273-278.

Rushing, Wanda. 2009. Memphis and the Paradox of Place: Globalization in the American South. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press.

Rushing, Wanda. 2009. "Memphis, the Delta, and a Progressive Sense of Place." Business Perspectives, vol. 20, no.1 (Summer/Fall), pp. 52-55.

Rushing, Wanda. 2009. "Memphis: Cotton Fields, Cargo Planes, and Biotechnology." Southern Spaces. August 28.

Wang, Junmin. 2009. "Global-Market Building as State Building: China's Entry into the WTO and Market Reforms of China's Tobacco Industry." Theory and Society. Vol. 38 (2): 165-194

Recent Sociology Faculty Awards and Honors

Abrutyn, Seth

  • College of Arts and Sciences Early Career Research Award, University of Memphis 2015
  • Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Medical Sociology Section, 2015
  • Best Publication of the Year Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Mental Health Section, 2015
  • Outstanding Publication Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Emotions Section, 2015
  • Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Children and Youth Section, 2015
  • Sociology Scholarship Incentive Award, University of Memphis, 2013
  • Best Faculty Paper Award, American Sociological Association, Evolution, Biology, and Society Section, 2013
  • College of Arts and Sciences Travel Enrichment Award, University of Memphis, 2012

James, Wesley

  • College of Arts & Sciences Travel Enrichment Award, University of Memphis, 2010.
  • Sociology Doctoral Student of the Year, Mississippi State University, 2009
  • SSRC Research Fellow Award. Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, 2008
  • Population Association of America Poster of Excellence Award, 2006
  • Graduate Student Paper of Distinction Award: "Conversation of Gestures of Significant Symbols? An Analysis of Boxing." Mid-South Sociological Association. Atlanta, GA, 2005
  • Centers and Institutes Graduate Student Research Award Recipient. Mississippi State University, 2005
  • Population Association of America Poster of Excellence Award, 2004
  • Population Association of America Poster of Excellence Award, 2003

Levin, Martin L.

  • Distinguished Service Award, [first recipient], Southern Sociological Society, 2003.
  • The Distinguished Service Award of the Southern Sociological Society was renamed the Martin L. Levin Distinguished Service Award, 2004.
  • Population Association of America Poster of Excellence Award, 2002

Preston, Jim

  • Alma Bucovaz Advising Award, University College, University of Memphis, 2006.

Rambo, Carol

  • Editor, Symbolic Interaction, January 2007-11.
  • Course Redesign Fellowship, University of Memphis, Summer 2010.
  • Norman Denzin, Qualitative Research Award, Carl Couch Center for Research on Internet and Culture, University of Illinois, Urbana, 2007.
  • W. Russell Smith Teaching Award, University of Memphis, 2005.

Rushing, Wanda

  • President-Elect, Sociologists for Women in Society, 2014
  • Dunavant University Professor, August 2011
  • College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Research Award (CASDRA), University of Memphis, 2010
  • Finalist for the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Memphis, 2005.
  • Faculty Fellow, Technology Fellowship Program, Advanced Learning Center, FedEx Institute of Technology, University of Memphis, 2004-05.
  • Alma Bucovaz Urban Research and Service Award, University College, University of Memphis, 2006.
  • Finalist for the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Memphis, 2005.

Ventimiglia, Joseph

  • W. Russell Smith Award for Teaching Excellence, August 2010

Wang, Junmin

  • Faculty Research Grant in Social Sciences, Business and Law of University of Memphis ($6,500) (2009-2010)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship in China's Political Economy of Indiana University ($35,000) (2007-2008)