Recent Faculty Publications


Cosby, Arthur, Maya McDoom, Wesley James, Hasna Khandekar, Heather Hanna, Willie Brown, and Karissa Bergene. 2018. Growth and Persistence of Place-based Mortality in the United States: The Rural Mortality Penalty. American Journal of Public Health, forthcoming.

James, Wesley, Julia Wolf, and Jeralynn Cossman. Persistence of Death in the United States: The Remarkably Different Mortality Patterns between America's Heartland and Dixieland. Demographic Research, forthcoming.

Winstead, Kevin and Wendy Marie Laybourn. "Teaching Black Social Movements through #BlackLivesMatter: Twitter as a Lab, Knowledge Bank, and Field." Curriculum and Pedagogy's Group 10th Edited Collection. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


Lariscy, Joseph T., Robert A. Hummer, and Richard G. Rogers. (2018). Cigarette Smoking and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Adult Mortality in the United States. Demography, 55(5).

Laybourn, Wendy Marie and Devon R. Goss. Diversity in Black Greek-Letter Organizations: Breaking the Line. Routledge.

Loren, Degan and Carol Rambo. 2018. "God Smites You!:Atheists' Experiences of Stigma, Identity Politics and Queerness." Deviant Behavior.

Smith, Darron and Cardell Jacobsen. 2018. "Differences in salaries of physician assistants in the USA by race, ethnicity, and sex." Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, 23(1): 44-48.

Wang, Junmin. 2018. “The State as a Vehicle of Technological Change: Economic Openness, Technological Catching-up, and Indigenous Innovation in Chinese Firms.” Perspectives on Global Development and Technology. Vol. 17 (4): 373-407.

Wang, Junmin, Yanlong Zhang, and Doug Guthrie. 2018. “Economic Openness and Institutional Embeddedness: Global Capital and Firm Performance in China’s Stock Market.” Social Science Quarterly. Vol. 99 (2): 807-828 

Wang, Junmin. 2018. Book Review of Management and Organizations in Transitional China By Yanlong Zhang and Lisa Keister (Routledge). Contemporary Sociology. Vol. 47 (2).


Binnix, Taylor M., Carol Rambo, Seth Abrutyn, and Anna S. Mueller. 2017. "The Dialectics of Stigma, Silence, and Misunderstanding in Suicidality Survival Narratives." Deviant Behavior, 39(8):1095-1106.

Cossman, Jeralynn, Wesley James, and Julia Wolf. 2017. The Differential Effects of Rural Health Care Access on Race-Specific Mortality. Social Science and Medicine – Public Health, 3: 618-623, doi:

James, Wesley, Peter Albrecht, Karen Matthews, and Anna Church. 2017. "Improving the Health of Rural America's Chronically Ill: A Case Study of a PCMH Clinic in Mississippi." Population Health Management, 21(1):83, doi:1089/pop.2017.0054.

James, Wesley, Karen Matthews, Peter Albrecht, Shelby Fox, and Anna Church. 2017. "Evidence of a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Improving the Health of Chronically Ill Patients in the Mississippi Delta." Journal of Preventative Medicine and Care, 1(4), doi:10.14302/issn.2474-3585.jpmc-17-1449.

James, Wesley and Jeralynn Cossman. 2017. "Long Term Trends in Black and White Mortality in the Rural United States: Evidence of a Race-Specific Rural Mortality Penalty." The Journal of Rural Health, 33: 21-31, doi:10.1111/jrh.12181.

Lariscy, Joseph T. 2017. Black-White Disparities in Adult Mortality: Implications of Differential Record Linkage for Understanding the Mortality Crossover. Population Research and Policy Review 36(1): 137–156.

Peterson, Gretchen.2017.“One Shining Moment” – NCAA March Madness and Male Emotional Expression. Engaging Sports: North American Society for the Sociology of Sports Blog.

Wang, Junmin. 2017. Book Review of The Politics of Innovation: Why Some Countries are Better than Others at Science & Technology By Mark Zachary Taylor (Oxford University Press). Social Forces, Vol. 96 (1).


Lariscy, Joseph T., Claudia Nau, Glenn Firebaugh, and Robert A. Hummer. 2016. Hispanic‑White Differences in Lifespan Variability in the United States. Demography 53(1): 215–239.

Wang, Junmin. 2016. “Taking the ‘Red Hat’ off Chinese Private Entrepreneurs: Institutional Dependents, Innovative Collaborators, and Political Opponents.” Sociology of Development. Vol. 2 (3): 293-321


Guthrie, Doug, Zhixing Xiao, and Junmin Wang. 2015. “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. Pp. 75-101.

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.

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

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., Seth Abrutyn, and Cynthia Stockton. 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

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.

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

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

Recent Sociology Faculty Awards and Honors

James, Wesley

  • Evaluate Impact of Indianola Promise Neighborhood Program. Principal Investigator, Wesley James. Funded by Delta Health Alliance, Stoneville, MS. $379,613. July 2018-June 2019.
  • 2017 Invited Panelist at the National Cancer Institute, Gaithersburg, MD. "Understanding
  • Definitions of Rural/Rurality: Implications for Rural Cancer Control." October 2017.
  • 2017 Invited Panelist at a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., sponsored by Population Association of America. "Small Towns/Big Changes: The Shifting Demographics of Rural America: Health and Mortality." April 2017.
  • 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)