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David L. Brunsma

David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology

David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology
David L. Brunsma, Professor of Sociology

Department of  Sociology
654 McBryde Hall (0137)
225 Stanger Street Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8723 |


David L. Brunsma is a professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Sociology.  His research interests include racial identity, race and ethnicity, human rights, public sociology, sociology of culture, sociology of education, critical race theory, social psychology, educational reform, school uniforms, and symbolic interactionism.

Brunsma is the recipient of multiple awards in his field, including the Founder’s Award for Scholarship and Service of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities in 2020, the E. Gordon Ericksen Award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty in 2013, and the W.E.B. DuBois Award from Sociologists Without Borders in 2008. He and his coauthors also received an honorable mention for the Gordon Hirabyashi Human Rights Book Award for The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights, for which he was an editor in 2014.

Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech in 2011, Brunsma taught at the University of Missouri–Columbia, where he was involved in the Black Studies Program. He holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Notre Dame.

To learn more, see his Google Scholar and Academia profile.

  • (Multi) Racial Identity
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Human Rights
  • Education
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
  • Founding Co-Editor, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • Executive Officer, Southern Sociological Society
  • Race and Ethnicity Section Editor, Sociology Compass
  • Council Member, ASA Section on Human Rights
  • Treasurer, Sociologists Without Borders

Founder’s Award for Scholarship and Service, Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, American Sociological Association, 2020

Honorable Mention for Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Book Award, 2014

E. Gordon Ericksen Award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty, 2013

W.E.B. DuBois Award from Sociologists Without Borders, 2008


Chapman, Nathaniel G. and David L. Brunsma. Beer and Racism: How Beer Became White, Why It Matters, and the Movements to Change It. Bristol: Bristol University Press, 2020.

Brunsma, David L., Brian Gran, Keri E. Iyall Smith. Sociology for Human Rights: Approaches for Applying Theories and Methods. Routledge, 2019.

Brunsma, David L., Brian Gran, Keri E. Iyall Smith. Expanding the Human in Human Rights: Toward a Sociology of Human Rights. Routledge, 2016.Brunsma, David L., Keri Iyall Smith, and Brian Gran. Movements for Human Rights. Routledge, 2016.Coates, Rodney D., Abby L. Ferber, and David L. Brunsma. The Matrix of Race: Social Construction, Intersectionality, and Inequality. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing, 2017.

Brunsma, David L., Keri E. Iyall Smith,‎ and Brian K. Gran. Institutions Unbound: Social Worlds and Human Rights. Routledge, 2016.

Brunsma, David L., Judith R. Blau, Alberto Moncada , Catherine Zimmer. Leading Rogue State: The U.S. and Human Rights. Routledge, 2015.

Brunsma, David L., Keri Iyall Smith, and Brian Gran (eds.). The Handbook of Sociology and Human Rights. Paradigm Publishers, 2013.

Brunsma, David L., Michael Hughes, John Ryan. Readings in Sociology. McGraw Hill Publishing, 2013.

Brunsma, David L., David Overfelt, J. Steven Picou. The Sociology of Katrina: Perspectives on a Modern Catastrophe. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010.

Rockquemore, Kerry Ann and David L. Brunsma. Beyond Black: Biracial Identity in America. Second Edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008.

Brunsma, David. L. Mixed Messages: Multiracial Identities in the "Color-Blind" Era. Lynne Rienner, 2005.

Brunsma, David L. Uniforms in Public Schools: A Decade of Research and Debate. R&L Education, 2005.

Brunsma, David L. The School Uniform Movement and What it Tells Us About American Education: A Symbolic Crusade. Lanham, MD: Rowman, 2004. 


Journal Articles

Brunsma, David L., Daniel Delgado, and Kerry Ann Rockquemore. 2013. “Liminality in the Multiracial Experience: Towards a Concept of Identity Matrix” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. 20(5): 481-502.

Brunsma, David L., Eric Brown, and Peggy Placier. 2013. “Teaching Race at Historically White Colleges and Universities: Identifying the Walls of Whiteness” Critical Sociology, 39(5): 717-738. 

Brunsma, David L. 2006. "Public Categories, Private Identities: Exploring Regional Differences in the Biracial Experience." Social Science Research. 35(3): 555-576.

Rockquemore, Kerry Ann and David L. Brunsma. 2002. “Socially Embedded Identities: Theories, Typologies, and Processes of Racial Identity Among Biracials.” The Sociological Quarterly. 43(3): 335-356.

Current Projects

“The Social Construction of Difference” — A Major Intersectionality Textbook on Race and Ethnicity. with Rodney Coates and Abby Ferber.

“Human Rights in The United States” — A Major Data Collection Effort, Replicating the South Korean Human Rights Survey, Understanding the Social Contours of Human Rights Attitudes and Practices in the United States. Mixed Methods.

“Critical Studies of Race and Racism” — Sets of Studies Engaging Issues Such as Microaggressions, Racial Epistemologies in Disciplinary Discourse, Whiteness and Anti-Racisms.

“Multiracial Identity” — A Major Data Collection Effort, The First Nationally Representative Data Set of Multiracial America. Mixed Methods.

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