Suzanne Staggenborg, PhD


2409 WWPH


My areas of interest are social movements, political sociology, social problems, and environmental sociology. My research is primarily in the area of social movements, including studies of abortion politics,women’s movements, and environmental movements. I am currently completing a book on grassroots environmentalism, focusing on several local environmental organizations that are fighting practices such as shale gas drilling and promoting sustainable communities. I teach graduate courses in social movements and qualitative methods.

Fields of Interest

  • Social Movements/Collective Action
  • Political Sociology
  • Social Problems
  • Environmental Sociology


  • PhD, Northwestern University

Organization and Strategy in the Grassroots Environmental Movement

“Mobilizing Against Fracking: Marcellus Shale Protest in Pittsburgh.” In Fractured Communities: Risk, Impacts, and the Mobilization of Protest Against Hydraulic Fracking in U.S. Shale Regions, ed. by Anthony E. Ladd. Rutgers University Press, 2017.

“Battles over Abortion and Reproductive Rights: Movement Mobilization and Strategy” (with Marie Skoczylas). Pp. 214-231 in Oxford Handbook of U.S. Women’s Social Movement Activism, ed. by Holly McCammon et al., 2017.

Social Movements 2016 (Second Edition, Oxford University Press) Social movements around the world have used a wide variety of protest tactics to bring about enormous social changes, influencing cultural arrangements, public opinion, and government policies in the process. This concise yet in-depth book provides a broad overview of theoretical issues in the study of social movements, illustrating key concepts with a series of case studies. It offers engaging analyses of the protest cycle of the 1960s, the women's movement, the LGBT movement, the environmental movement, right-wing movements, and global social justice movements. It further examines these social movements in terms of their strategies and tactics, the organizational challenges they faced, and the roles that the mass media and counter-movements played in determining their successes and failures.

  • Social Movements
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Social Problems and Moral Crusades