Armando Lara-Millan

Armando Lara-Millan

Armando Lara-Millan

Associate Professor
Social Sciences Building 482
Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests
Economy & Society, Law & Society, Medicine, Historical Sociology, and Urban Ethnography.

Armando Lara-Millán is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley, a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar, and earned his PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University in 2013. He is a faculty affiliate of the Berkeley Economy and Society Initiative, Center for the Study of Law and Society, and the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society.

Armando is fascinated by how powerful organizations, whose actions affect the life fortunes of large numbers of people, use language to reshape critical material resources; that is, he examines how these organizations use culture and cognitive processes to recast the economic worth of resources that many people depend on, purchase, or are subject too (e.g. jail and hospital space, crime, advanced medical technology, or even property value). He has examined such processes in the context of urban poverty governance within large American urban jails and public hospitals, and is now turning his attention to the gigantic American healthcare system, digital crime platforms, and venture capital firms.

His work has appeared in the American Sociological ReviewCriminology, Social Problems, and among others, the American Journal of Sociology. His book “Redistributing the Poor: Jails, Hospitals, and the Crisis of Law and Fiscal Austerity” was published with Oxford University Press in 2021 and was the winner of the 2022 Distinguish Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association, the 2022 Eliot Friedson Outstanding Publication Award from the Medical Sociology Section of the ASA, and the 2022 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award from the SREM section of the ASA. Armando is also the recipient of awards from the National Science Foundation, Law and Society Association, the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, the Ford Foundation, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.


Representative Publications


Lara-Millán, Armando. 2021. Redistributing the Poor: Jails, Hospitals, and the Crisis of Law and Fiscal Austerity. Oxford University Press.

  • Winner of Distinguished Scholarly Book Award, American Sociological Association, 2022
  • Co-Winner of the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, SREM Section of the American Sociological Association, 2022
  • Winner of the Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award, Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association, 2022


Lara-Millán, Armando. 2022. "The Administrative Disappearing of State Crisis: The Resolution of Prison Realignment in Los Angeles County." American Journal of Sociology, 127(5): 1460-1506.

Lara-Millán, Armando. 2017. “States as a Series of People Exchanges.” In Kimberly Morgan and Ann Orloff (Eds.), The Many Hands of the State: Theorizing Political Authority and Social Control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lara-Millán, Armando. 2021. “Theorizing Financial Extraction: The Curious Case of Telephone Profits in the Los Angeles County Jails. Punishment & Society, 23(1): 107-126.



Lara-Millán, Armando and Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve. 2017. The Interorganizational Utility of Welfare Stigma in the Criminal Justice System.” Criminology 55(1): 59-84.

  • Winner of the Distinguished Article Prize, Sociology of Law Section of the ASA, 2017
  • Winner of the Winner of the Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award, Crime, Law, and Deviance Section of the ASA, 2013.

Lara-Millán, Armando. 2014. “Public Emergency Room Overcrowding in the Era of Mass Imprisonment.” American Sociological Review 79(5): 866-887.

  • Winner of the Stinchcombe Prize in Organization Studies at SION, 2012
  • Honorable Mention for Best Graduate Student, SSSP’s Health, Health Policy, and Health Services Division, 2012



"Appendix" to Redistributing the Poor. 2021.

Lara-Millán, Armando, Sunmin Kim, Brian Sargent. 2020. “Theorizing with Archives: Contingency, Mistakes, and Plausible Alternatives.” Qualitative Sociology, 43: 345-365. 

Lara-Millan, Armando. 2019. “We Just Have to do Something - Issa Kohler-Hausmann, Misdemeanorland: Criminal Courts and Social Control in an Age of Broken Windows Policing (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2018). European Journal of Sociology, 60(3), 459-462



Lara-Millán, Armando and Melissa Guzman-Garcia. "Digital Platforms and the Maintenance of the Urban Order" Forthcoming at Social Problems.

Lara-Millán, Armando and Emily Ruppel. "The Paradox of High Healthcare Spending in the United States." Conditionally Accepted at Economy & Society

Lara-Millán, Armando. “Technology and Inequality: The Cost Disease Revisited.” In Preparation.

Lara-Millán, Armando. "The Great Disinflationary Period, 1979-2021." In Preparation. 



cover of book