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Nina Eliasoph

Professor of Sociology

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-3533
Office: KAP 352
Office Hours: Tuesdays : 11:15-1 or by appointment

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website


Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley, 1/1993
B.A. Political Science, Yale University, 1/1982

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 01/01/1994-01/01/2004  

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Nina Eliasoph's areas of specialization include: Volunteers, non-governmental organizations/nonprofit sector; U.S. politics and political culture, ethnography, language and interaction, political theory.

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

The Dynamics of Civic Relationships: A Proposal to Apply Methodological Innovation to the Study of H (National Science Foundation), Christopher Weare, Paul Lichterman, Nicole Esparza, Nina Eliasoph, $104,977, 2010-2011   
"Paid Civic Engagement: Young Interns in the Age of the Nonprofit" (Spencer Foundation), Nina Eliasoph and Paul Lichterman, $39,525, 2010-2011   
Démocratie participative. Aspects historiques et contemporains (Maison européenne des sciences de l’homme et de la), Marion Carrel and Paula Cossart, $3,000, 2009-2010  
The Dynamic of Civic Engagement (National Science Foundation), Chris Weare, Paul Lichterman, Nina Eliasoph, $125,000, 09/01/2007-08/31/2010  
"Connecting Affordable Housing and Green Neighborhoods in Los Angeles: how organizations link issues (John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation Faculty F), Nina Eliasoph, $10,000, 2009-2010   
Building a Meaningful Interdisciplinary Agenda for Civic Engagement Research (USC, Center for Religion and Civic Culture), Nina Eliasoph, Chris Weare, Juliet Musso, Ann Crigler, $35,000, 10/01/2005-07/01/2007  

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Local Organization, Global Comparison: Top Down Efforts at Promoting Participatory Democracy", Social Science HIstory ASsociation, Lecture/Seminar, Abstract, Long Beach, CA, Social Science History Association, Invited, 11/11/2009-  
"Modeling Culture: from ethnography to organizational forms", Sociology of Culture section mini-conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, NY, American Sociological Association, Invited, 08/16/2007-  
"Publicizing Intimacy and Measuring Volunteer Work: crisscrossed moral horizons in a US youth civic engagement project", Colloque International Politiques du Care, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paris, Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales/CNRSE, Invited, 06/20/2007-  
"Empowerment Talk in Action: the case of youth volunteer projects", Democratizing Inequalities Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, NY, New York University, Institute for Public Knowledg, Invited, Fall 2011   
"2010. "Empowerment Talk in Action: the case of youth volunteer projects." ", Democratizing Inequalities Conference, Talk/Oral Presentation, New York, New York University, Institute for Public Knowledg, Invited, 2010-2011   
"2010: "Drawing on Inspiration, Promoting Civic Equality, Protecting the Needy, and Creating Intimate Attachments: how some participatory democracy projects try to do it all at once." ", Spaces of Democracy Workshop, , Talk/Oral Presentation, Helsinki, Finland, University of Helsinki, Department of Sociology, Invited, 2010-2011   
"Inspiration, Promoting Civic Equality, Protecting the Needy, and Creating Intimate Attachments: how some participatory democracy projects try to do it all at once", Spaces of Democracy Workshop, Talk/Oral Presentation, Helsinki, Finland, University of Helsinki Department of Sociology, Invited, Spring 2011   
"Inside Hybrid Organizations: an ethnographic investigation", Academy of Management annual conference, Lecture/Seminar, Refereed Abstract, Anaheim, CA, Academy of Management, 2008-2009   
"Modes of Beckoning: Toward a shared future in interaction", International Sociological Association, Talk/Oral Presentation, Refereed Barcelona, Internation Sociological Association, 2008-2009   
"Empowerment Talk: how good ideas can turn inside out", Lecture/Seminar, Universite de Lyon, Lyon, France, Invited, 05/21/2009  



Eliasoph, N. Grassroots Politics and Volunteers in Global Perspective. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Eliasoph, N. (2011). Making Volunteers: Civic Life After Welfare's End. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Eliasoph, N. S. Ethnographies of Civil Society Around the World.
Eliasoph, N. S. (1998). Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life. Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Book Chapter

Eliasoph, N., Lichterman, P. (2011). Making Things Political. NY: Routledge Press.
Eliasoph, N. (2011). Civil Society and Civility. Oxford Handbook on Civil Society pp. 220-231. NY: Oxford University Press.
Eliasoph, N., Lo, J. (2011). Broadening Cultural Sociology’s Scope: meaning-making in mundane organizational life, in Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology. The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology NY: Oxford University Press.
Eliasoph, N., Luhtakallio, E. (2011). Ethnography of Politics and Political Communication: Studies in Sociology and Political Science, in Oxford Handbook on Political Communication. NY: Oxford University Press.
Eliasoph, N. (2009). Rendre publique l’intimité et mesurer le ‘travail de volontariat:’ L’enchevêtrement d’horizons moraux dans un programme d’engagement civique pour la jeunesse aux Etats-Unis, in "Qu’est-ce que le care? Souci de soi, sensibilité, responsabilité. Paris: L'Harmattan.
Eliasoph, N. S. (2007). Lo sforzo nella creazione di Comunità, Natura, Intimità: Astrazioni sul Sapere Locale.". FrancoAngeli: In Nome di Chi? Partecipazione e rappresentanza nelle mobilitazioni locali (In Whose Name? Participation and Representation in Local Collective Action), Tommaso Vitale, editor.
Eliasoph, N. S. (2007). "Beyond the Politics of Denunciation: cultural sociology as the ‘sociology for the meantime.’" in Cultural Sociology and the Democratic Imperative, Jeffrey Alexander and Isaac Reed, editors. Cultural Sociology and the Democratic Imperative, Paradigm Press.

Journal Article

Eliasoph, N. (2010). The Evaporation of Politics in the Public Sphere. Kettering Review. pp. 37-48.
Eliasoph, N. (2009). Top-Down Civic Projects Are Not Grassroots Associations: how the differences matter in everyday life. Voluntas: the international journal of voluntary and nonprofit organizations.
Eliasoph, N., Lo, J. (2008). Inside Hybrid Organizations: an ethnographic investigation. Academy of Management Journal.
Eliasoph, N. S. (2003). "Culture in Interaction." (Co-authored with Paul Lichterman). American Journal of Sociology. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 18, pp. 4735-4794.


Eliasoph, N. (2011). "Preface" to book by Marion Carrel, Faire participer les habitants? Les quartiers d’habitat social entre injonction participative et empowerment.


Office Hours

Tuesdays : 11:15-1 or by appointment, in the Ronald Tutor Hall cafe

Other Advisement or Time Devoted to Students

started interdisciplinary reading group on time and narrative in everyday practice in organizations, 2007-  

New Courses Developed

La démocratie participative, Université de Lyon, short course, 05/10/2009-05/26/2009  

Teaching Innovations and Multimedia Teaching

visiting workshops on ethnographic methods, 05/01/2004-  

Honors and Awards

National Science Foundation Grant , 9/1/2007-8/31/2008  

Service to the University


International Scientific Committee (editorial board), "Participations. Revue de Sciences Sociales sur la Démocratie et la Citoyenneté.", 2011-  

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

media interviews in NY Times, KNBC-TV, National Public Radio, Christian Science Monitor, Arbetaren (Swedish newspaper), and elsewhere on participatory democracy in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Fall 2011   
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