401A Berkey Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Aaron M. McCright, Lyman Briggs College
Aaron M. McCright
Associate Professor of Sociology
Aaron M. McCright is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University. He also has an appointment in the Environmental Science and Policy Program. He holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa and an MA and PhD in Sociology from Washington State University.
Most of Dr. McCright’s scholarship spans the fields of environmental sociology, political sociology, social movements, and sociology of science and technology. His intellectual agenda is to enhance our sociological understanding of how political, social, and scientific dynamics influence society’s capacity for recognizing and dealing with environmental degradation and technological risks. This has led him to investigate (a) the political dynamics and public understanding of climate change; (b) social movement identity and ideology for the environmental movement and beyond; (c) our sociological understanding of societal risk; (d) the influence of globalization forces on environmental management in formerly remote communities; and (e) the dynamics of scientific practices at tropical field stations.
Dr. McCright is most well-known for his work to sociologically explain the political dynamics and public understanding of climate science and policy in the United States. Integrating theoretical insights from scholarship on power, social movements, media norms, and public opinion, his main contribution has been exploring how and why the American conservative movement and its allied climate change contrarians have effectively challenged climate science and policy in the United States for the last two decades. Recently, he extended this to theoretically explain political polarization on climate change in the American public. In total, his research increases our sociological understanding of the obstacles for dealing with climate change in the US and beyond.
Dr. McCright was named a 2007 Kavli Frontiers Fellow in the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of his climate change research. He was a 2008-2009 Lilly Teaching Fellow, received the 2009 Teacher-Scholar Award, and received the 2009 Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award at Michigan State University. He has published one book and has authored several chapters in edited volumes. His work also has been published in several sociological and interdisciplinary journals.
- Influence of gender on environmental concern.
- Political dynamics and public understanding of climate change.
- Social movement identity and ideology for the environmental movement and beyond.
- Our sociological understanding of societal risk.
- The influence of globalization forces on environmental management in formerly remote communities.
- The dynamics of scientific practices at tropical field stations.
McCright, Aaron M., and Riley E. Dunlap. 2011. “Cool Dudes: The Denial of Climate Change among Conservative White Males in the United States.” Global Environmental Change 21:1163-1172.
McCright, Aaron M., and Riley E. Dunlap. 2011. “The Politicization of Climate Change and Polarization in the American Public’s Views of Global Warming, 2001-2010.” The Sociological Quarterly 52:155-194.
Awards and Honors
Recipient of Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University, 2010
Recipient of Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award from Michigan State University, 2009
Recipient of Honorary Faculty Certificate from the Lyman Briggs College Graduating Class of 2009 for dedication to the enrichment of the Briggs experience, May 9, 2009
Recipient of Teacher-Scholar Award at Michigan State University, 2009
Selected as Lilly Teaching Fellow at Michigan State University, 2008-2009