Professor in Law and Society
Robin Stryker joins the Purdue faculty as a professor in sociology.
She completed a Ph.D. and M.S. in sociology at the University of Wisconsin and graduated summa cum laude with highest honors in sociology from Smith College.
Stryker joins Purdue from the University of Arizona, where she was professor of sociology, affiliated professor of law, and affiliated professor of government and public policy. She received legal training at Yale Law School and the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. From 2011-16, she was Research Director of the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse. She was also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota (2000-08) and the University of Iowa (1986-2000). She has been a visiting professor at EHESS and at Sciences-Po, LIEPP, both in Paris, and she has an ongoing visiting relationship with Sciences-Po, CSO, in Paris.
Stryker’s scholarship spans multiple disciplines, including sociology, law, political science, communication, and history. Among her research foci are law; politics and inequality; organizational and institutional change; political and legal legitimacy; the comparative welfare state and social policy; sociological theory and methods; and incivility, politics, and the media. She has written extensively on the politics of social and behavioral science in U.S. regulatory law, including labor law, antitrust law, and the law of employment discrimination and affirmative action. She publishes regularly in such journals as the American Journal of Sociology; the American Sociological Review; Sociological Methods and Research; Research in the Sociology of Organizations; Research in Stratification and Social Mobility; Law & Social Inquiry; the Annual Review of Law & Social Science; Social Politics; Politics & Society; and Communication Monographs. With LaDawn Haglund, she co-edited Closing the Rights Gap: From Human Rights to Social Transformation (University of California Press, 2015).
Stryker has received numerous research grants, fellowships, and awards for scholarship and teaching. She received multiple undergraduate teaching awards from the University of Iowa, a faculty mentoring award from the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota, and in 2014, she received the university-wide Graduate and Professional Teaching and Mentoring Award at the University of Arizona. In 2001-02, she was a Robert Schuman Fellow at the Robert Schuman Center, European University Institute, Florence, Italy. In 2008, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. And in 2016-17, she was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. At the University of Arizona, she was Earl H. Carroll Magellan Fellow in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (2011). At the University of Minnesota, she was a Scholar of the College of Liberal Arts (2004-07), and at the University of Iowa, she was a University Faculty Scholar (1993-96).
She has been a member of numerous editorial and advisory boards. She is a past president of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (2000-01), past chair of three sections of the American Sociological Association (Political Sociology in 2011-12, Theory in 2005-06, and Sociology of Law in 1999-2000), and has served as an elected council member for the American Sociological Association (2007-10), during which time she chaired the council’s Subcommittee on the Production and Use of Federal Social Science Data. She has served as a member of the National Science Foundation’s Law and Social Science Review Panel (2008-10). From 2015-17, she was a member of the National Research Council’s Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Science.
In 2018, with co-author Nicholas Pedriana, Stryker received Distinguished Article Awards from the ASA’s Human Rights Section and its Section on Political Sociology (for “From Legal Doctrine to Social Transformation: Comparing U.S. Voting Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity and Fair Housing Legislation,” published in the American Journal of Sociology in 2017). Previously, with then-graduate student co-authors Bethany Conway and J. Taylor Danielson, she received a Top Paper Award from the Political Communication Section of the National Communication Association (2014). She also received the Distinguished Article Award from the Sociology of Law Section of the American Sociological Association (2005, with co-author Pedriana), the Barrington Moore Award for Best Article in Comparative and Historical Sociology (from the Comparative and Historical Section of the American Sociological Association, 1997, for her article, “Beyond History vs. Theory; Strategic Narrative and Sociological Explanation”), and the Founder’s Prize from the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (1997, with co-author Pedriana).
Stryker, who has lived in many cities across the U.S. and Europe, was born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, and is delighted to be coming home to Indiana to join the faculty at Purdue.