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Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

William A. Gamson

Sociology Department


William A. Gamson


Ph.D., University of Michigan

McGuinn Hall 411
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Phone: (508) 645-9738

Curriculum Vitae - Current

Curriculum Vitae - Through 1981


Scholarly Interests

Political sociology, social movements, media and politics, political discourse analysis, social conflict, Arab-Israeli conflict, game simulations as a tool for social change. 

Academic profile

William A. Gamson is a Professor of Sociology and co-directs, with Charlotte Ryan, the Media Research and Action Project (MRAP) at Boston College. He has written a number of books and articles on political discourse, the mass media and social movements. He is a past president of the American Sociological Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His current work involves the development of game simulations as a tool for social change. 

Courses typically taught

SOCY7751 - The Quest for Social Justice 

Professional Honors and Awards

W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, American Sociological Association, 2012.

McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award, Center for the Study of Social Movements, Notre Dame, 2011.

Merit Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Discipline, Eastern Sociological Society, 2005.

Distinguished Book Award, 2004, ASA Section on Collective Behavior and Social Movements for Shaping Abortion Discourse.

Doris Graber Outstanding Book Award, American Political Science Association, 2000, for Talking Politics.

Distinguished Career Award, ASA Section on Peace and War, 1997.

Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award, American Sociological Association, l987.

Selected publications 

“A Jew Among the Jesuits: Teaching at a Jesuit University,” Jewish Currents (Winter, 2014), pp. 70-74.

“The #Occupy Movement” (with Micah L. Sifry), special section of The Sociological Quarterly, Vol 54:1 (2013), pp. 159-230.

“Games Throughout the Life-Cycle,” Simulation and Gaming, Vol. 44:5 ( October, 2013), pp. 609-23.

2011. “Arab Spring, Israeli Summer, and the Process of Cognitive Liberation.” Swiss Political Science Review, Vol. 17:4 (November,) pp. 463-68.

2011. “From Outsiders to Insiders: The Changing Perception of Emotional Culture and Consciousness among Social Movement Scholars.” Mobilization 16: 405-418. 

2010. “On Being Jewish at a Jesuit University: Reflections on Organizational Cultures.” Sociological Forum. Vol. 25 (Sept., 2010): 612-620. 

(with Myra Marx Ferree, Jurgen Gerhards, and Dieter Rucht). 2002. Shaping Abortion Discourse: Democracy and the Public Sphere in Germany and the United States. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.  

1992. Talking Politics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 


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