Faculty Profile

Erik Love

Associate Professor of Sociology (2009; 2012)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 215


Erik Love teaches courses on social movements, race and racism, and qualitative methods. He studies civil rights advocacy organizations in the United States. His first book, Islamophobia and Racism in America, was published in 2017. He has presented his research on the efforts of Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American advocacy organizations at several academic conferences, in peer-reviewed journals, and he has contributed to a wide range of popular publications. His work has won the support of the National Science Foundation, the Richard Flacks Fund for the Study of Democracy, and Emory University's James Weldon Johnson Center for the Study of Race and Difference. Originally from Detroit, he has traveled widely, including stints studying and working in places like Jerusalem, Cairo, and Kyoto. Erik holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he was a Regents Fellow.

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.A., Albion College, 2001
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2006
  • Ph.D., 2011

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

SOCI 225 Race and Ethnicity
This course explores the historical and contemporary significance of race and ethnicity in the United States. Students will examine how racial inequality has become a pervasive aspect of U.S. society and why it continues to impact our life chances. We will address race and ethnicity as socio-historical concepts and consider how these “social fictions” (in collusion with gender, class, and sexuality) produce very real material conditions in everyday life. We will develop a theoretical vocabulary for discussing racial stratification by examining concepts such as prejudice, discrimination, systemic/institutional racism, racial formations, and racial hegemony. We will then look closely at colorblind racism, and examine how this dominant ideology naturalizes social inequality. With this framework in place, students will investigate racial stratification in relation to schools, the labor market, the criminal justice system, neighborhood segregation, immigration, etc. Finally, we will discuss strategies of anti-racism that seek to eliminate enduring racial hierarchies. Offered every two years.

SOCI 230 Transportation Justice
Transportation systems--airports, bridges, highways, railroads, and more--have developed in the United States in ways that reflect social, cultural, and political histories. The stated goals for improvements or reforms to these systems have aligned with national priorities: enhancing America's standing by enabling safe and efficient transportation of people, goods, and services. In reality, however, these systems have contributed to structural inequalities by systematically excluding certain groups while advancing the interests of other groups. Improving equality in access to transportation has been a central concern of civil rights advocates for decades. This course examines the sociological factors that have contributed to the development of unequal transportation systems in the United States, with a particular focus on recent advocacy efforts to achieve transportation equity.

Spring 2019

SOCI 110 Social Analysis
Selected topics in the empirical study of the ways in which people's character and life choices are affected by variations in the organization of their society and of the activities by which social arrangements varying in their adequacy to human needs are perpetuated or changed.

SOCI 270 Soc Mvmts, Protest & Conflict
The study of protest politics and social movements is the study of collective agency. Social movements arise when people act together to promote or resist social change. Movements represent not only grievances on a particular set of issues, but also frustration with more established political forms of making claims in societies. In this course, we will engage with some of the large theoretical debates in the study of social movements, reading both empirical treatments of particular movements and theoretical treatments of key issues. The featured case studies will include civil rights, feminism, ecology, the antinuclear movement, the New Right and the alternative globalization movement. We will be particularly concerned with the social and political context of protest, focusing on basic questions, such as: under what circumstances do social movements emerge? How do dissidents choose political tactics and strategies? And, how do movements affect social and political change?

SOCI 272 Islam and the West
Cross-listed with MEST 272-01.

MEST 272 Islam and the West
Cross-listed with SOCI 272-01.