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Liza G. Steele

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Liza Steele contributes to both the sociology and Latin American studies programs. She received her PhD in sociology from Princeton University in 2013 and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University. Currently, she researches attitudes towards income inequality and social welfare policies (preferences for redistribution). This ongoing work on policy preferences is divided into two lines of research: (1) diversity and migration, and (2) wealth, elites, and social mobility. More generally, her research focuses on how social stratification and economic inequality affect the development of beliefs, attitudes, and values through the lens of cross-national comparison. Her previous research includes in-depth studies of Brazil and China. She uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in her research, and has a working knowledge of French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

For more about Liza Steele, please visit her website

Research Interests

Professor Steele’s research interests include global and transnational sociology, stratification and inequality, quantitative methodology, sociology of development, public policy, urban sociology, political sociology, sociology of religion, East Asia (especially China), and Latin America (especially Brazil).


Journal Articles

Steele, Liza G. 2016a. “Ethnic Diversity and Support for Redistributive Social Policies.” Social Forces. 94(4):1439-1481. DOI: 10.1093/sf/sow021. Published article | PDF | Online supplement

Steele, Liza G. 2016b. “Multi-Religiosity: Expanding research on ties to multiple faiths in the 21st century.” New Diversities. 18(1):37-52. (Invited Special Issue: Religion and Super-Diversity). Published article | PDF

Steele, Liza G. 2015. “Income Inequality, Equal Opportunity, and Attitudes About Redistribution.” Social Science Quarterly. 96(2):444-464. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12145. Published article | PDF

Steele, Liza G. and Scott M. Lynch. 2013. “The Pursuit of Happiness in China: Individualism, Collectivism, and Subjective Well-Being during China’s Economic and Social Transformation.” Social Indicators Research. 114(2):441-451. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0154-1. Published article | PDF

Telles, Edward and Liza G. Steele. 2012. “Pigmentocracy in the Americas: How is Educational Attainment Related to Skin Color?AmericasBarometer Insights. 73:1-8. Published article [In Spanish as “Pigmentocracia en las Américas: ¿cómo se relaciona el logro educativo con el color de piel?” Perspectivas desde el Barómetro de las Américas. PDF (open access - Español)]

Steele, Liza G. 2011. “‘A Gift from God’: Adolescent Motherhood and Religion in Brazilian Favelas.” Sociology of Religion. 72(1): 4-27. (Lead article) Published article | PDF | Online supplement

  • Graduate Student Paper Award, American Sociological Association Children and Youth Section, 2011
  • Graduate Student Paper Award Honorable Mention, American Sociological Association Community and Urban Sociology Section, 2011

Steele, Liza and Raymond C. Kuo. 2007. “Terrorism in Xinjiang?Ethnopolitics. 6(1): 1-19. (Lead article) Published article | PDF


Other Publications

Steele, Liza G. 2018. “Ask the Experts” interview for “2018’s Most & Least Ethnically Diverse Cities in the U.S.” by Richie Bernardo. WalletHub, February 13th. Article

Telles, Edward and Liza G. Steele. 2012. “The Effects of Skin Color in the Americas.” Americas Quarterly. Published article

Steele, Liza G. 2011. “Multiple Faiths.” in Encyclopedia of Global Religion, edited by Wade Clark Roof and Mark Juergensmeyer. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Encyclopedia entry

Steele, Liza G. 2011. “Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997).” in Encyclopedia of Global Religion, edited by Wade Clark Roof and Mark Juergensmeyer. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Encyclopedia entry