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Sociology Faculty

Obach, Brian

B.A. Political Science,1989, SUNY at Albany

Ph.D. Sociology, 2000, University of Wisconsin, Madison


Department: Sociology
Office: JFT 516A
Phone: (845) 257-3447

Office Hours

MR11:00 AM - 01:00 PM
T10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

And by appointment

Career History

2009-present Chair, Department of Sociology, State University of New York, New Paltz

2014-present Coordinator, Environmental Studies Program, State University of New York, New Paltz

2014-present, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York, New Paltz

2006-2014 Associate Professor of Sociology, State University of New York, New Paltz

2000-2006 Assistant Professor of Sociology, State University of New York, New Paltz

1998-99 Lecturer, Mount Saint Mary’s College (Los Angeles, CA), Department of Sociology

1997-2000 Lecturer, Santa Monica College, Department of Social Science

1995-96 Lecturer, University of Wisconsin, Department of Sociology

1995 Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin, Department of Sociology

Teaching Interests

Social Movements
Environmental Sociology
Social Statistics
Political Economy
Introduction to Sociology

Research/Creative Activity

Brian Obach's research focuses on social movements, political economy, and environmental sociology. He is currently writing a book about the organic agriculture movement based on a study funded by the National Science Foundation.

Awards, Honors & Recognition

Professional Development Award, State University of New York at New Paltz, 2010

Levin Fellowship for Turkey-United States Professional Exchange. Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, December 26, 2009-January 9, 2010.

National Science Foundation Grant: “Coalition Dynamics and Strategic Innovation in the Organic Movement.” $85,000. 2006-2009.

Honorable Mention, Collective Behavior and Social Movements Distinguished Book Award for Labor and the Environmental Movement, American Sociological Association, 2005

Professional Development Award, State University of New York at New Paltz, 2005

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, $8,500. 1999

Small Grant Award, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1996


Labor and the Environment: The Quest for Common Ground. 2004. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Organic Struggle: The Sustainable Agriculture Movement in the United States. Under Contract, expected 2014. MIT Press

Peer Reviewed Articles
“Civic Agriculture and Civic Engagement” (with Kathleen Tobin). Agriculture and Human Values. Vol. 31, No. 2, 2014, Pp. 307-322.

“Consumption, Ecological Footprints and Global Inequality: A Lesson in Individual and Structural Components of Environmental Problems. Teaching Sociology. Vol. 37, No. 3, July 2009, 294-300.

“Capitalism, State Economic Policy and Ecological Footprint: An International Comparative Analysis” (with Serife Ilgu Ozler). Global Environmental Politics. Vol. 9, No. 1, 2009, Pp. 79-108.

“Cross Course Collaboration in Undergraduate Sociology Programs” (with Eve Waltermaurer). Teaching Sociology. Vol. 35, No. 2, April 2007, 151-60.

“Theoretical Interpretations of the Growth in Organic Agriculture: Agricultural Modernization or an Organic Treadmill?” Society and Natural Resources Vol. 20, No. 3, 2007, Pp. 229-44.

“New Labor: Slowing the Treadmill of Production?” Organization and Environment. Vol. 17, No. 3, September, 2004, Pp. 337-354.

“Barriers to Collective Action: A Classroom Simulation,” Teaching Sociology. Vol. 31, July 2003, Pp. 1-7.

“Labor-Environmental Relations: An Analysis of the Relationship between Labor Unions and Environmentalists,” Social Science Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 1, March 2002, Pp. 82-100.

“Teaching about Institutional Discrimination and the Controversies of Affirmative Action,” Teaching Sociology Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2000, Pp. 50-55.

“Demonstrating the Social Construction of Race,” Teaching Sociology Vol. 27, No. 3, July 1999, Pp. 252-57.

“The Wisconsin Labor-Environmental Network: A Case Study of Coalition Formation among Organized Labor and the Environmental Movement,” Organization and Environment Vol. 12, No. 1, March 1999, Pp. 45-74.

Book Chapters
“Class and Intersectionality.” In Ten Lessons in Introduction to Sociology, Kenneth Gould and Tammy L. Lewis, eds. New York: Oxford University Press. 2014.

“Political Opportunity and Social Movement Coalitions: The Role of Policy Segmentation and Non-Profit Tax Law.” In Strategic Alliances: Coalition Building and Social Movements, Nella Van Dyke and Holly McCammon, eds. University of Minnesota Press:Minneapolis. 2010.

“Labor and the Environment” in Twenty Lessons in Environmental Sociology, Kenneth Gould and Tammy L. Lewis, eds. New York: Oxford University Press. 2009, revised edition 2014.

Agriculture Supporting Community in the Mid-Hudson Region. Discussion Brief #5. Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach. State University of New York at New Paltz. Spring 2011.

Committee Memberships & Professional Organizations

Chair, Department of Sociology
Coordinator, Environmental Studies Program
Member, Campus Sustainability Committee
Executive Board, United University Professions
Legislative Outreach Committee, United University Professions
Treasurer, Environmental Task Force

Link to CV