Jay Demerath (1958)

Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

I never intended to be an academic, but I always saw my Ph.D. training as a way to inform committed activism with the broad range of social insights that a Berkeley training was especially useful in instilling.  My research, since turned into a book called Net Loss: Internet Prophets, Private Profits And The Costs To Community (published by Penn State Press in 2002), was a way to analyze how changes in technology had shaped and been shaped by broader policies effecting economic inequality in society. I went to law school after Berkeley and, after a short stint in a law firm representing workers and unions, I now am employed as a policy analyst and counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice, which is affiliated with NYU Law School. My work focuses on supporting community groups and unions that are fighting for more work rights and smarter economic development for low-wage workers.  It combines a nice combination of legal work, research, policy advocacy and community organizing. 

Dissertation Title: 
Social Class and American Protestantism
Dissertation Book Title: 
Religion in social context; tradition and transition
New York,