Paul Roger Lichterman
Professor of Sociology and Religion, University of Southern California
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:May–July 2019, June–July 2023
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»The Moral and Political Projects of White Anti-Racism in the U.S.«
I am beginning a book based on ethnographic and interview research that illuminates how white people challenge systemic, anti-Black racism. What cultural meanings and methods of relationship-building make this effort possible in the US? For many participants, white anti-racism is primarily a moral project that involves participants in arduous kinds of self-cultivation, sometimes pursued in special trainings in activist settings or workplaces. Others challenge systemic racism through collective action to reform institutions that perpetuate racialized social inequities. Both modes engage political and ethical action to widely varying degree and in different ways. Informed by moral anthropology and sociolinguistics as well as political and cultural sociology, the study will build out the notion of »moral projects« of anti-racism, examining their personal dimensions, public presence and power. (Paul Roger Lichterman)
Research partner:In 2019, Paul Lichterman was invited by Goethe University's LOEWE research center »Religiöse Positionierung. Modalitäten und Konstellationen in jüdischen, christlichen und islamischen Kontexten« (»Religious Positioning: Modalities and Constellations in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Contexts«) to the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften. In the summer of 2023, he will be working with Ferdinand Sutterlüty, Professor of Sociology at Goethe University, on the project »Moral Underground. Hidden Practices of Resistance«.
Scholarly profile of Paul Roger Lichterman Paul Lichterman is Professor of Sociology and Religion at the University of Southern California. His research inquires into how civic actors define public issues and organize collective action to address them in a socially unequal, culturally diverse society. He has received awards from the cultural sociology and political sociology sections of the ASA for his work in American Journal of Sociology and Theory and Society. His book Elusive Togetherness won the Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Distinguished Scholarship Award from the Pacific Sociological Association.
More information about Paul Lichterman can be found here.
Main areas of research:Culture, religion, civil society organisations and social movements, political sociology, qualitative methodology and theory.
- How Civic Action Works. Fighting for Housing in Los Angeles, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2021.
- (with Kushan Dasgupta): »How a Housing Advocacy Coalition Adds Health: A Culture of Claimsmaking«, in: Social Science and Medicine 165 (2016), p. 255-262.
- (with Isaac Reed): »Theory and Contrastive Explanation in Ethnography«, in: Sociological Methods and Research 44/4 (2015), p. 585-635.
- (with N. Eliasoph): »Civic Action«, in: American Journal of Sociology 120/3 (2015), p. 798-863.
- »Religion in Public Action: From Actors to Settings«, in: Sociological Theory 30/1 (2012), p. 15-36.
- (ed. with C. Brady Potts): The Civic Life of American Religion, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2008.
- »Religion and the Construction of Civic Identity«, in: American Sociological Review 73 (2008), p. 83-104.
- Elusive Togetherness: Church Groups Trying to Bridge America’s Divisions, Princeton: Princeton University Press 2005.
- The Search for Political Community: American Activists Reinventing Commitment, New York: Cambridge University Press 1996.