Skip to main content

Dr. Richard Sullivan

Sociology Associate Professor
Sociology and Anthropology
Schroeder Hall - SCH 359
Office Hours
Fall 2022: Thursdays 3:30-5:30 pm and by appointment
  • About
  • Education
  • Awards & Honors
  • Research


Richard Sullivan received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned a Masters in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his Bachelor's degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Current Courses

106.002Introduction To Sociology

466.001Sociological Theory

Teaching Interests & Areas

Dr. Sullivan regularly teaches a large-enrollment Introduction to Sociology course as well as upper division classes on social movements, higher education, and political sociology. He also teaches social theory at the graduate level.

Research Interests & Areas

Political Sociology, Education, Social Movements, and Labor Studies. His previous research focused on the social movement dynamics of labor movement revitalization, union organizing among white-collar workers and immigrants working in garment industry sweat shops. He is now working on several projects in the arena of public sociology. This work includes producing a podcast, publishing a regular newsletter, and writing a book that addresses the need to improve the sociological literacy of the general public.

Ph D Sociology

University of California - Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara

MA Sociology

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

BA History

Macalester College
Saint Paul, Minnesota

John A. Dossey Award for Outstanding Teaching

College of Arts and Sciences

Kenneth A. and Mary Ann Shaw Teaching Fellowship

ISU College of Arts and Sciences

University Teaching Initiative Award


Excellence in Civic Engagement Award

American Democracy Project. Vice President and Provost, Illinois State University.

Outstanding Faculty Award

ISU Office of Intercultural Programs

Book Review

Sullivan, R. First Contact: Teaching and Learning In Introductory Sociology. Teaching Sociology 42.3 (2014): 258-260.
Sullivan, R. The Broken Table: The Detroit Newspaper Strike and the State of American Labor. American Journal of Sociology 119.November(3) (2013)

Creative Works/Broadcast Media

Sullivan, R. Please Remain Seated (2018)
Sullivan, R. Voting Guide: A Platform-Based Approach (2018)
Sullivan, R. Why Vote in Mid-Term Elections? (2018)

Journal Article

Sullivan, R. Labour Market or Labour Movement? The Union Density Bias as Barrier to Labour Renewal .. Work, Employment and Society 24.1 (2010): 145-156.
Sullivan, R. Organizing Workers in the Space Between Unions: Union-Centric Labor Revitalization and the Role of Community-Based Organizations. Critical Sociology 36 (2010): 793-819.
Sullivan, R. Why the Labor Movement is Not a Movement. New Labor Forum 19.2 (2010): 53-58.
Sullivan, R. Density Matters: The Union Density Bias and the Implications for Labor Movement Revitalization. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 14.2 (2009): 239-60.


Corporatization and the Prospects for Resistance in the Academy. Social Movements and Nonviolent Protest: Resistance and Its Repression in Illiberal Democracies, East and West An International Conference on Social Movements. Mobilization An International Journal. (2019)
This is What Educating Illinois Looks Like: The Ousting of a President Becomes a Teachable Moment. CTLT Teaching and Learning Symposium. ISU CTLT. (2015)
Overcoming Apathy. Alternative Spring Break Conference. University of Illinois Urbana Champagne. (2012)
What are you going to do with that?. Illinois State University. Alpha Kappa Delta and Sociology Club. (2012)