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Department ofSociology

Laura Robinson

Laura Robinson

Professor and Miller Center Lewis Family Fellowship Chair

Ph.D. 2006, Sociology, UCLA

Laura Robinson specializes in digital sociology, research methods, and global media in Brazil, France, and the U.S. Robinson’s work has appeared in journals including Information, Communication and Society; New Media & Society;  Sociology, and Sociological Methodology. Robinson earned her Ph.D. from UCLA, where she held a Mellon Fellowship in Latin American Studies and received a Bourse d’Accueil at the École Normale Supérieure. She also earned degrees from Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 and USC. Robinson has served as chair of CITAMS (the Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology section of the American Sociological Association ASA) for 2014-2015. 

At Santa Clara University, she teaches several courses, including Cultures and Ideas I and II: The Human Condition; Introduction to Research Design and Methods; Tech, Social Media, and Society; and Tech, Innovation, and Culture. One of the things Robinson enjoys most about teaching at SCU is using the sociological imagination to explore digital sociology, and comparative cultures (especially Brazil and France), and research methods that let us study the social world.

Among her most satisfying accomplishments is working with students on research on Latin America. For example, Robinson is a Brazilianist and has worked with sociology majors to do research on Brazil and Latin America. Oscar Quiroz-Medrano (Sociology graduating class of 2017) conducted research on Brazilian media thanks to the Witold Krassowski Student Research Assistant Endowed Award. The Krassowski Award also funded two of our sociology majors to serve as assistant editors on volumes for the ESMC book series for which Robinson is co-editor. Jenna Harrison (2016 SCU magna cum laude graduate in Sociology and political science) was Assistant Editor “Digital Empowerment: Opportunities and Challenges of Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Nicole Speciale (graduating class of 2017) was Assistant Editor for “Brazil: Media from the Country of the Future.” 

Also, thanks to the Miller Center for Entrepreneurship’s Global Social Benefit Fellowship, Robinson was the faculty advisor for a student team studying solar powered hearing aids made by Solar Ear. A copy of the report “Tuning in to Solar Ear: Measuring the social benefit of applied social science for the public good” by Myles Sansone, Mary Catherine Duane, and Natalie Lays may be found on SCU’s Scholar Commons.