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Dr. Christopher Wellin

Sociology Associate Professor, Gerontology Program Coordinator
Sociology and Anthropology
Schroeder Hall - SCH 356
Office Hours
Mondays from 11-11:40; Wednesdays from 2-3 & by appt.
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research

Teaching Interests & Areas

Chris Wellin is a sociologist whose teaching and research interests focus on critical gerontology; the study of work and occupations; and qualitative/interpretive research methods. Wellin has done ethnographic studies in diverse settings and communities, including technical theatre, factory work, and paid caregiving, especially for older people facing chronic illness and disability. Wellin's project has been to document and theorize informal, often tacit, work skills and their implications for the social organization of work and formal systems of authority. His publications have appeared in such outlets as Current Research on Occupations and Professions; Teaching Sociology; Qualitative Sociology; Journal of Aging and Social Policy; and the Handbook of Ethnography. A report summarizing ethnographic research on paid caregiving was commissioned by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences. He edited and contributed two chapters to the (2018) book, Critical Gerontology Comes of Age, published by Routledge (New York & London).

Research Interests & Areas

Aging and the life course; Caregiving for people who are older and/or face chronic illness or disability; Sociology of work/occupations; careers; Qualitative research methods; Teaching/pedagogy.

Ph D Sociology

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

MA Sociology

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

BA Sociology

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI

Impact Award

University College

Outstanding College Service Award

College of Arts and Sciences

Elected Chair of Membership & Outreach Committee, Society for the Study of Social Problems.


Illinois State University Outstanding Teaching Award for pre-tenured faculty


Elected Chair, Division on Youth, Aging, & the Life Course

Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Book Review

Wellin, C. Review of "Golden Years: Social Inequality in Later Life.". Yasemin Besen-Cassino (EDs). Contemporary Sociology 49.3 (2020): 248-250.
Wellin, C. Review of "Retirement on the Line.". Michael Chibnik (EDs). John Wiley & Sons 116.6 (2014): 685-686.

Book, Chapter

Wellin, C., & Hollister, B. Societal Aging in the U.S.: Impact on Health, Economic Security, and Retirement. Glenn W. Muschert, et al (EDs), Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions 2012. Society for the Study of Social Problems (2012): 100-115.
Wellin, C. Paid caregiving for older adults with serious or chronic illness: Ethnographic perspectives, evidence, and implications for training.. Chris Wellin (EDs), Critical Gerontology Comes of Age.. Routledge/Taylor & Francis: 36 DS pages..

Book, Edited

Wellin, Chris (Ed.) 2018. "Critical Gerontology Comes of Age: Advances in Research and Theory for a New Century."
Wellin, C. The Need for, and Fruits of, a Current, Critical Gerontology.. Chris Wellin (EDs), Critical Gerontology Comes of Age: Advances in Theory and Research for a New Century.. Routledge/Taylor & Francis: 25 pages..

Journal Article

Wellin, C. Documentary Film and Cumulative Knowledge in Sociology: The Career of Richard Broadman.. Kathleen Lowney (EDs). Teaching Sociology 41.4 (2013): 403-407.


Negotiating Students'Research Partnerships with Community Agencies. Annual Meetings of 2019. Society for the Study of Social Problems. (2019)
Impacts of Neoliberalism on Social Work Practice and Careers: A Literature Review and Agenda for Research. Annual Meeting. Society for the Study of Social Problems. (2018)
Schmeeckle, Maria and Wellin, Christopher. "Fostering Independent Undergraduate Research to Explore Global Connections and Social World” in session, “Pedagogical (R)evolutions in a Globalizing World” at Society for the Study of Social Problems conference, August 19, 2016, Seattle, WA.
A Formative Evaluation of Select Evidence-Based Healthy Aging Programs in Illinois.. Annual Meeting. Society for the Study of Social Problems. (2015)
Celebrating the Career Contributions of Howard S. Becker. Annual Meeting. Soceity for the Study of Social Problems. (2015)
Hospice Volunteering: Invisible but Essential Work.. Annual Appreciation Banquet for Hospice Volunteers: Advocate-Bromenn.. Advocate-BroMenn Hospice. (2015)
Evidence Based Practice in Health and Human Services: Keys to Critique from a Sociological Perspective. First Friday's Symposium series.. Department of Sociology & Anthropology, ISU. (2014)
Exemplars of Qualitative Health Research: Contributions of Leonard Schatzman. Annual Meetings of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Society for the Study of Social Problems. (2014)
The Relevance for Social Gerontology for Understanding the Contemporary College Experience.. "Red Talks". PSI CHI and Student Psychology Association of ISU. (2014)
Effectively Involving Faculty in the Internship Process. Illinois Cooperative Education and Internship Association. Illinois State University. (2013)