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Lawrence Nichols, Ph.D. *

Professor of Sociology, Retired


Dr. Nichols serves as editor of The American Sociologist, a peer-reviewed journal that examines the history, current status, and future prospects of sociology as a profession and discipline.

He received a master’s in sociology from St. Louis University and a Ph.D. in sociology from Boston College. His research and publications have focused on symbolic interactionist theory, history of sociology, and corporate values and white collar crime. He has extensive teaching experience, including courses on constructing social problems, terrorism, sociology of business, white-collar crime, organized crime, and juvenile delinquency.

Selected Publications  

History of Sociology 

Nichols, Lawrence T., “The Enduring Social Psychology of Robert K. Merton: Motivating Sentiments, Reference Groups and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies,” The American Sociologist 47, 2-3 (June-September 2016): 356-381.

Nichols, Lawrence T., “Merton as Harvard Sociologist: Engagement, Thematic Continuities and Institutional Linkages,” Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 46, 1 (winter 2009): 72-95.

Nichols, Lawrence T., “Modern Roots of the Sociology of Love: Tolstoy, Addams, Gandhi and Sorokin.” Pp. 149-175 in The Palgrave Handbook of Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity, edited by Vincent Jeffries (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).

Nichols, Lawrence T., “Sorokin as Lifelong Russian Intellectual: The Enactment of an Historically Rooted Sensibility,” The American Sociologist 43, 4 (December 2012).

Construction of Social Problems

Nichols, Lawrence T. and Jason Rine.  “Collective Identity Narratives: Historical and Emergent Stories of Selfhood in a Deindustrializing Community,” Studies in Symbolic Interaction 39: (2012) 121-149.

Nichols, Lawrence T., Nolan, James J. and Corey J. Colyer, “Scorekeeping versus Storytelling: Representational Practices in the Construction of ‘Hate Crime,’” Studies in Symbolic Interaction vol. 30: (2008) 361-379.

Nichols, Lawrence T., “Contextual Understanding in Constructionisn: A Holistic, Dialogical Model,” Qualitative Sociology 11, 2 (April 2015): 76-92.

Best, Joel and Lawrence T. Nichols, “Memories as Problems, or How to Reconsider Confederate Flags and Other Symbols of the Past.” In Joel Best, American Nightmares, University of California Press 2017.

State of the Field of Sociology 

Nichols, Lawrence T., “Renewing Sociology: Integral Science, Solidarity and Loving Kindness,” Sociological Focus (November 2012).

Courses Taught

  • SOCA 334 Corporate White Collar Crime
  • SOCA 337 Sociology of American Business
  • SOCA 345 Terrorism
  • SOCA 407 Constructing Social Problems
  • SOCA 415 Mass Media/Crime & Deviance
  • SOCA 493M SPTP:Crime/Dev in Media
  • SOCA 498A HNRS: Terrorism
  • SOCA 498C HNRS: White Collar Crime