Tyler Leeds

Profile picture for user Tyler Leeds

Tyler Leeds

Research Interests
Political Sociology, Journalism Studies, Knowledge, and Theory

Tyler's research examines how knowledge is produced, circulated, and put into action for political ends. He is especially interested in the American conservative movement.

His ethnographic study of rural right-wing activism was published by Qualitative Sociology in 2020. In that article, he argues the activists he studied demonstrate a cognitive schema that assigns assumptions of (im)morality and (in)capacity to different levels of the government. This schema explains how the activists are willing to exercise dedicated civic engagement at the municipal and county levels but embrace conspiracy theories concerning the state and federal governments. For his dissertation, Tyler is studying transformations in the journalistic field and their impact on partisan debates over American history. A historical article that explores how the commercial success of The New York Times is rooted in changes to the political, technological, and financial fields is forthcoming in Social Problems. Another paper concerning the role of Fox News and its use of ideas about slavery and racism is under review.

Prior to graduate school, Tyler worked at a daily newspaper in Oregon, where his reporting focused on political tensions in a former mill town experiencing rapid tourism-driven growth. He also covered the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge and debates over the implementation of marijuana legalization. Before becoming a journalist, Tyler earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.

Dissertation Committee
Michael Burawoy (chair), Rodney Benson (NYU), Wendy Brown, Marion Fourcade, Kim Voss