Cybelle Fox

Cybelle Fox

Cybelle Fox

492 Social Sciences Building
Curriculum Vitae
Research Interests
Race and Ethnic Relations, American Welfare State, Immigration, Historical Sociology, and Political Sociology.

Cybelle Fox received a B.A. in history and economics from UC San Diego in 1997 and a Ph.D. in sociology and social policy from Harvard University in 2007. Her main research interests include race and ethnic relations, the American welfare state, immigration, historical sociology, and political sociology. Her most recent book, Three Worlds of Relief (Princeton University Press, 2012), compares the incorporation of blacks, Mexicans, and European immigrants in the American welfare system from the Progressive Era to the New Deal. Fox won six book awards for Three Worlds of Relief, including the 2012 C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Her next book project focuses on the rise of citizenship and legal status restrictions in American social welfare policy from the New Deal to the present. Her work has appeared in the American Behavioral Scientist, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of American History, Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Social Science HistoryPolitical Science Quarterly, Sociological Methods and Research, Law & Social Inquiry, and Studies in American Political Development. She is also co-author of Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings (Basic Books, 2004).

Representative Publications



Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal2012. Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and the American Welfare State from the Progressive Era to the New Deal. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings2004. Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings. (with Katherine Newman, David Harding, Jal Mehta and Wendy Roth). New York: Basic Books.


Articles and Chapters

2023. “Rethinking Sanctuary: The Origins of Non-Cooperation Policies in Social Welfare Agencies.” Law & Social Inquiry 48(1):175-204.

2021. "'Save our Senior Non-Citizens': Extending Old Age Assistance to Immigrants, 1935-1971." Social Science History 45(1):55-81.

2020. "Demography is Not Destiny." In Trumpism and its Discontents, Osagie K. Obasogie (ed.) Berkeley Public Policy Press.

2019. “'The Line Must Be Drawn Somewhere': The Rise of Legal Status Restrictions in State Welfare Policy in the 1970s" Studies in American Political Development 33(2):275-304.

2016. “Unauthorized Welfare: The Origins of Immigrant Status Restrictions in American Social Policy.”  Journal of American History 102(4):1051-1074.

2015. “Beyond ‘White by Law’: Explaining the Gulf in Citizenship Acquisition between Mexican and European Immigrants, 1930.” (with Irene Bloemraad) Social Forces 94(1):181-208.

2013.  “Immigration, Political Participation and Redistributive Social Policy.” (with Irene Bloemraad and Christel Kesler) In Immigration and Poverty, David Card and Steven Raphael (eds.) New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

2012. “Defining America’s Racial Boundaries:  Blacks, Mexicans, and European Immigrants, 1890-1945.” (with Thomas Guglielmo) American Journal of Sociology 118(2):327-379.

2010. “Three Worlds of Relief: Race, Immigration, and Public and Private Social Welfare Spending in American Cities, 1929.” American Journal of Sociology 116(2):453-502.

2009. “Repeat Tragedy: Rampage Shootings in American High School and College Settings 2002-2008.” (with Katherine Newman) American Behavioral Scientist 52(9):1286-1308.

2005. “School Shootings as Organizational Deviance.” (with David Harding) Sociology of Education 78(1):69-97.

2004. “The Changing Color of Welfare? How Whites’ Attitudes Toward Latinos Influence Support for Welfare.” American Journal of Sociology 110(3):580-625.

2003. Introduction. “Race, Racism and Discrimination: Bridging Problems, Methods and Theory in Social Psychological Research.” (with Lawrence D. Bobo) Social Psychology Quarterly 66(4): 319-332.

2003. “A Deadly Partnership: Lethal Violence in an Arkansas Middle School.” (with Wendy Roth and Katherine Newman) In National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence. Mark H. Moore, Carol V. Petrie, Anthony A. Braga and Brenda L. McLaughlin, Editors Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

2002. “Studying Rare Events through Qualitative Case Studies: Lessons from a Study of Rampage School Shootings.” (with David Harding and Jal Mehta) Sociological Methods & Research 31(2): 174-217.

1999. “A Snapshot of Family Homelessness Across America.” (with Ralph Nunez) Political Science Quarterly 114(2): 289-307.


Work in Progress

Unauthorized Welfare: The Rise of Immigrant Status Restrictions in American Social Welfare Policy (Book manuscript in progress)