Justin Van Ness

Justin is a Sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Notre Dame. His areas of specialization include Cultural Sociology, Social Movements and Collective Behavior, Social Psychology/Microsociology, Qualitative Methods, Social Control/Deviance, and the Sociology of Religion. Broadly conceived, Justin’s publications have been focused on issues related to cognition and emotion, interaction and information-transmission, and social and cultural stasis and change.

His current research focuses on surprising situations where people who would otherwise be completely supportive of a cause might find themselves experiencing sudden shifts in cognition and emotion which radically alters their judgments. Drawing on his in-depth ethnography with an activist religious movement, he explains how objects can have multiple meanings and skew judgments and interactions in situ, depending upon how the audience creates meaning. By focusing on variation in potential meanings, he reveals the pathways through which judgments are formed and the consequences for decision-making and information-transmission through interaction. More generally, his research reveals how and when situations become problematic for some audiences but not for others and the consequences of this variation.

Justin’s research has appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Sociological Theory, Thesis Eleven, Journal of Classical Sociology, Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, and the Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory. He also serves as an occasional reviewer for the American Sociological Review, Mobilization: An International Journal, The Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Perspectives, and others.

In addition, he has instructed Introduction to Social Psychology, conducted and supervised research for the Fourth Wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion, and assisted teaching with guest lectures for Social Problems and Social Psychology. Justin has given numerous presentations related to his ongoing dissertation research and is an active affiliate of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Social Movements, Center for the Study of Religion and Society, and the Sociology Department’s Culture Workshop. He is also a contributing editor at Mobilizing Ideas.

cssm

The University of Notre Dame is home to the Center for the Study of Social Movements. This research center is home to a vibrant international and interdisciplinary epicenter for research related to collective action, group dynamics, social movements, and social, political, and cultural change.

culture workshop

The Culture Workshop at the University of Notre Dame is an interdisciplinary community hosted by the Department of Sociology. This community provides faculty and graduate students a platform to exchange ideas and develop research projects, dissertation chapters, articles, conference papers, grant proposals, and job talks. Research tends to focus on meaning and interpretation, cultural practice, ideology, cultural objects, discourse, creativity, framing, production or reception of culture, morality, categorization, narrative, visual culture, schema and cognition, materiality, tastes, media, and much more.

csrswhite2

The Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame is an interdisciplinary research community dedicated to advancing social scientific understanding of religion through empirical research, scholarly publications, and intellectual interchange.

Education

  • Ph.D. Expected 2018

    Ph.D. in Sociology

    University of Notre Dame

  • M.A. 2015

    M.A. in Sociology

    University of Notre Dame

  • B.S. 2012

    B.S. in Sociology

    University of California, Riverside

  • B.A. 2012

    B.A. in Psychology

    University of California, Riverside

Positions

  • Fall2016

    Instructor, Intro to Social Psychology

    University of Notre Dame, Sociology

  • Present2013

    Graduate Research Assistant

    University of Notre Dame, Dr. Erika Summers-Effler

  • Fall2015

    Teaching Assistant, Guest Lecturer

    University of Notre Dame, Social Psychology

  • Fall2014

    Teaching Assistant, Guest Lecturer

    University of Notre Dame, Social Problems

  • 20132012

    Research Project Manager

    National Study of Youth and Religion, Fourth Wave

  • 20122010

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    University of California at Riverside, Sociology, Dr. Seth Abrutyn

  • 20112010

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    University of California at Riverside, Psychology, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky

  • 20112010

    Undergraduate Research Assistant

    University of California at Riverside, Psychology, Dr. David Funder

Awards and Service

  • 2017
    Center for the Study of Religion and Society Research Grant
  • 2016
    Center for the Study of Social Movements Research Grant
  • 2016
    Convener, Cultural Dimensions of Gender, Work, and Love, American Sociological Association
  • 2015
    Convener, New Religious Movements, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion
  • 2014
    Convener, Individuals, Family and Groups in Urban Life, Chicago Ethnography Conference
  • 2013
    Convener, Social Movements and Religion Session, Society for Scientific Study of Religion Conference
  • 2013
    Center for the Study of Social Movements Research Grant
  • 2013
    Gradudate Student Union Conference Grant