Amy Binder

“Amy Binder received her B.A in Anthropology from Stanford University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University. Her principal research interests are in the areas of cultural sociology, education, social movements, and organizations.

Her first book Contentious Curricula: Afrocentrism and Creationism in American Public Schools (Princeton 2002) explored two challenges made to public school social studies and science curricula. The book received the 2003 Best Book Prize of the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association, the 2003 Distinguished Scholarship Prize of the Pacific Sociological Association, and the 2004 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Professor Binder’s new book, Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives, was published in January 2013. Co-authored with UC San Diego doctoral student Kate Wood, the book looks at how today’s right-leaning college students experience life on two university campuses—one an elite private institution, the other a major public university—and how they belong to a web of conservative organizations that provide considerable resources to them. In this work, the authors show that the college years are not simply a time when students consolidate their natural political inclinations developed in the family and high school but, rather, are a highly influential period during which students learn recognizable conservative styles, such as “provocation” and “civilized discourse.” Different conservative styles, in this view, are largely the result of specific university settings, and these styles have significant consequences in today’s larger political world.”