Carol Petty

Carol Petty

Carol Petty

Adjunct Faculty

Subjectivities, Social Inequalities, Civic Engagement, Citizenship Studies, Social Integration Policy, Sociology of Culture, Interpretive Sociology, Sociological Research Methods, Sociological Theory

Carol Petty is an adjunct professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department. Dr. Petty's research analyzes transformations in citizenship and subjectivity, focusing on state and civic projects for social integration. Her dissertation project addressed two primary questions: how do participants in educational settings constitute, bridge, and shift the symbolic boundaries of citizenship? And, how does civic education render opportunities for political participation? She currently studies education programs designed to integrate new migrants into German society, particularly integration programs serving refugee students.  This research centers the relationship between cultural change and democracy. Dr. Petty's previous ethnographic work analyzed civic attempts to build relationships across deep lines of cultural differences (within the context of contemporary migration to Germany). 

She has extensive experience in university teaching and social science research (quantitative and qualitative methods). In 2020, she co-authored the Public Sociology Task Force report, a document that outlines techniques for institutionalizing public sociology as a project for social justice. Most recently, she provided consultation to the LWL-Museum in Dortmund, Germany on a 2023 EU-Grant Application titled, "Industrial Culture Creators for Future.” She worked for the American Sociological Association on the NSF-sponsored project, Understanding the Structure of Sociological Knowledge, a multi-year project to build a searchable database of digitized manuscripts submitted to the ASA’s academic journals. Her contribution to this project included designing and distributing large-scale surveys, producing statistical reports, and constructing analytical files for a public-use database. 

During her graduate career, she managed the telephone survey lab at the Center for Social Science Research, worked as program assistant to the Southern Sociological Society's annual meeting, and contributed to multiple qualitative and quantitative research projects. She has advanced training and experience in a range of methods including statistical analysis, content analysis, interpretive interviewing, and critical ethnography.

She was awarded a 2020 Dissertation Completion Grant ($10,000) by the Provost’s Office and a 2019 Dissertation Writing Fellowship ($8,000) by the Sociology Program at Mason. In 2014, she received a Critical Language Scholarship from the US Department of State to study in Turkey.  Prior to earning her PhD in Sociology, she studied as a Fulbright Grantee in Germany (2010-2011) and worked as a writing tutor (2009-2010) for George Mason’s Writing Center. 

Grants and Fellowships

Fulbright Grant to Germany, U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Critical Language Scholarship to Turkey, U.S. Department of State

2020 CHSS Dissertation Completion Grant ($10,000)

2019 Dissertation Writing Fellowship, Sociology Program ($8,000)           

2018 & 2017 PhD Summer Research Fellowship, Provost's Office ($7,000)

2015 MA Summer Research Fellowship, Provost's Office, ($5,000)


Courses Taught

Globalization & Society

Social Inequality

Methods and Logic of Inquiry

Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 

Introductory Sociology

Contemporary Sociological Theory


PhD Sociology, George Mason University

Dissertation: Belonging in Refuge: Cultural Logics of Refugee Incorporation in Contemporary Germany