Areas of Research/Interest: Social, political, and cultural theory; comparative historical sociology; public communication; social solidarity; collective action and social movements; social change.
External Affiliations: President of the Social Science Research Council
Fellowships/Honors: W.K. Kellogg National Fellowship; Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award, ASA Section on Political Sociology; Harry Bridges Lecturer, University of Washington and International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, Seattle; Irene Flecknoe Ross Lecturer, University of California, Los Angeles; Sociological Research Association; P&R Hettleman Faculty Fellowship, University of North Carolina.
Reaching back into biography, I could say I became a sociologist because as a preacher’s son I moved to a new town every few years. Each move meant figuring out new culture and social structure. As an adult, I came to sociology after degrees in anthropology and history, drawn by the openness of sociology, by its deeper engagement with social theory, and by its orientation to understanding basic social problems and informing action to address them.
Perhaps because of this background, I have always been puzzled by sociologists who prefer narrow disciplinarity to bringing together all the possible intellectual resources for their work, or who oppose disciplinary science to problem-oriented research. I think we advance sociology best by conceiving our work as a confrontation with the most important and most basic social issues, and carrying it out in ways informed at once by both theory and empirical research. We must set high standards for ourselves, but in order to inform the public well not to isolate ourselves from it.
Calhoun, Craig. (2007) Nations Matter: Culture, History, and the Cosmopolitan Dream. Routledge.
Calhoun, Craig. (2001) Nationalism. Open University Press and University of Minnesota Press.
Calhoun, Craig. (1995) Critical Social Theory. Basil Blackwell.
Calhoun, Craig. (1994) Neither Gods Nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China. University of California Press.
Calhoun, Craig. (1989; 7th ed., 1996) Sociology. McGraw-Hill Companies.
Calhoun, Craig. (1982) The Question of Class Struggle: Social Foundations of Popular Radicalism During the Industrial Revolution. University of Chicago Press and Basil Blackwell.
International Handbook of Sociology (with Chris Rojek and Bryan Turner). London: Sage, 2005.
Lessons of Empire? (with Frederick Cooper and Kevin Moore). New York: New Press, 2005.
Societas podcast: Conversations with Craig Calhoun about political and social issues in the United States and around the globe. The first series, from February to November 2008, explored various aspects of the U.S. presidential race.
President's Question: An interactive forum led by Craig Calhoun posing questions on issues of the day to prominent social scientists. Topics covered thus far include bailouts, President-elect Obama's public service ethic, and the future of newspapers.