Center for Social Science Research
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

James Witte

James Witte

James Witte


Director, Institute for Immigration Research

Use of the world wide web to collect survey data, comparison of online and off line societies

James Witte is a professor of sociology, Director of the Center for Social Science Research (CSSR) and Research Director for the Institute for Immigration Research (IIR). Witte, who earned his PhD from Harvard in 1991, has been a professor at Clemson University and Northwestern University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carolina Population Center and a lecturer in sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Witte came to Mason in the fall of 2009 to take over leadership of CSSR.

Since then CSSR has grown in the amount and range of funded research it conducts. Major projects include the privately funded Institute for Immigration research and the recently funded University Partnership with the University of Karachi. In the summer of 2014 a group of faculty and advanced graduate students from the University of Karachi, School of Public Administration will travel to George Mason University and take a month-long short course in research methods led by Dr. Witte at CSSR. As part of his work with the IIR, Dr. Witte is organizing a wide-ranging survey of the immigrant communities in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Planning for the project has begun with the hope that it will be fielded in the fall of 2014.

Current Research

Along with his work on immigration and Pakistan, Witte's ongoing research also looks at ways to use the internet to collect social science data and on the similarities and differences between online and off-line societies.  Dr. Witte has written numerous articles that have appeared in journals such as The European Sociological Review, Population and Development Review and Sociological Methods and Research.  He has also published three books, Labor Force Integration and Marital Choice, the Internet and Social Inequality and The Normal Bar.  The Normal Bar, co-authored with Chrisanna Northrup and Pepper Schwartz, was released in 2013 and made the New York Times bestseller list.

Dissertations Supervised

Olivia Majesky Blackmon, Underrepresented Minority Students in Four Urban School Districts: a Study of Technology Usage and Student Academic Performance in Math Grades Four and Eight (2015)

Jean Boucher, Culture, Carbon, and Climate Change: A Class Analysis of Climate Change Belief, Lifestyle Lock-In, and Personal Carbon Footprints (2016)

Melissa Cidade, Defining Bullying: A Split-Ballot Survey Experiment (2017)