Sabrina M. Danielsen, MA, PhD

Sabrina M. Danielsen, MA, PhD

Sabrina M. Danielsen, MA, PhD

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences


  • Sociology of Religion
  • Race, Class, and Gender
  • Social Problems
  • Environment

Academic Appointments


  • Cultural and Social Studies


  • Assistant Professor


As a sociologist, I am fascinated by the causes and consequences of various patterns in contemporary life.  How are people’s individual lives affected by the social and historical context in which they are living? How do we construct differences between people, such as by race, social class, and gender? How are inequalities based on these differences perpetuated and how can we challenge these inequalities? These are some of the questions that drive my research and teaching. 

Much of my research has sought to understand how debates about controversial issues change over time and how these debates are informed by differences such as by race and political identity.  I have looked at how Evangelical Protestant organizations debated environmental issues since the 1980s, how diverse religious groups debated birth control around the 1930s, and how Mainline Protestants have shifted in their official statements on abortion since the 1960s.  I have discovered that often the different “sides” of a controversial debate are based in the racial and political identities of the different people and organizations.  Further, as racial and political identities of groups evolve over time, the way they debate these controversial issues can also change. 

I am currently working on an interdisciplinary research project with Dan DiLeo (Justice and Peace Studies, Assistant Professor) and Emily Burke (Creighton undergraduate student) compiling a groundbreaking comprehensive dataset of all regular bishop columns in all 178 U.S. Catholic dioceses from June 2014-June 2019. With this dataset, we seek to understand how U.S. Catholic bishops have integrated Laudato Si' and environmental teaching into their teaching ministries relative to other controversial social problems. 

In my classes, I want students to gain theoretical and research tools to help them study the structures of society that surround them and concern them. The classes I regularly teach are: 
1. Introduction to Sociology: Self and Society (SOC 101). How is social life organized? This introductory class provides an overview of the field of sociology and seeks to understand how individuals are influenced by the social and historical context in which they are living. 
2. Research Design in the Social Sciences (ANT/HAP/SOC 312). How do we ask and answer research questions about social life? The aim of this class is for students to better understand how social research is done so that they can more critically read published research and more thoughtfully create their own research studies. 
3. Social Inequality and Stratification (AMS/ANT/SOC 411). What is the nature, causes, and consequences of social inequality and stratification? This class explores both theory and empirical research related to social inequality in the United States today. 
4. Gender in American Society (AMS/SOC/WGS 318). How and why do the positions and behavior of women and men in modern American society differ? What are the consequences of these differences? This Doing Social Science course emphasizes both the current state of social science empirical research on gender and how sociologists conduct research. Students will undertake three research projects answering a question of their choosing using three different methods: field observational methods, content analysis methods, and qualitative interview methods. 

Publications and Presentations


  • , 57(May), 49-62
  • , 13(2016), 156-175
  • , 119 (6), 1710-60
  • , 52(1), 198-215

Editing and Reviews

  • , 75:1, 169-171


Research and Scholarship

Grant Funding Received

  • CURAS Faculty Research Fund to support scholarship involving undergraduate student (Brittni Porath).

Awards and Honors

  • Winner of the Distinguished Article Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2015
  • Winner of the Charles Tilly Best Article Award, American Sociological Association's Comparative and Historical Section, 2015
  • Winner of the Distinguished Article Award, American Sociological Association's Sociology of Religion Section., 2015