Michael Sauder, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Spring 2024 Office Hours:
By appointment

Michael Sauder specializes in the sociology of organizations, theory, culture, and inequality. His recent research has appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, and Administrative Science Quarterly. Sauder's 2016 book with Wendy Espeland, Engines of Anxiety: Educational Rankings, Reputation, and Accountability (Russell Sage Foundation), is the culmination of an extensive project examining the unintended consequences of accountability measures on the individuals, organizations, and fields that they assess. This work has received a number of honors, including the Law School Admission Council's Shelton Prize, the Clifford Geertz Prize from the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA), and book awards from the Midwest Sociological Society, ASA's Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section, and the ASA's Sociology of Law Section. 

A current research project proposes a sociological approach to the study of luck and inequality. This work develops a theoretical justification for studying luck and outlines and empirical program for creating a better understanding of both beliefs about luck and the ways in which luck influences life chances. 

Sauder is currently the editor of Contemporary Sociology and is Chair-Elect of the Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section of the ASA. From 2010 to 2012, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy at Harvard University. He has also been visiting Fellowships at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology in Bielefeld, Germany, the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Study at the University of Iowa. 

Michael Sauder CV

Research areas
  • Social and Political Organization
  • Political Sociology
  • Complex Organizations
Michael Sauder
Ph.D., Northwestern University
Contact Information

416D North Hall (NH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States