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Anthropology and Sociology

Julie B. Wiest, Ph.D.

Contact Anthropology and Sociology  

Anthropology and Sociology

Mrs. Patti Hite, Department Secretary 
102 Old Library Building 
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2556 


Julie B. Wiest, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology

Julie B. Wiest, Ph.D.

As a sociologist of culture and media, I apply mainly symbolic interactionist and social constructivist perspectives to studies in three primary areas: (1) the relationship between new media technologies and social change, (2) mass media effects, and (3) the sociocultural context of violent behavior. I received my Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) and M.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Georgia (Athens). Before academia, I worked as a print and online journalist for nearly a decade.

WCU Courses

  • SOC 200: Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 225: Digital Social Research
  • SOC 333: Self & Society
  • SOC 346: Sociology of Gender
  • SOC 360: Sociology of Culture
  • SOC 383: The Digital Self

Areas of Specialization

  • Sociology of culture
  • Symbolic interactionism
  • New media technologies
  • Media representation and effects
  • Deviance and crime (especially violence & extreme offending)

Recent Refereed Publications

  • Wiest, Julie B. and Jack Levin. 2019. "Effects of Gender and Age on U.S. Adults' Interest in Cinematic Serial Murder." Violence and Gender. (published online ahead of print)
  • Levin, Jack and Julie B. Wiest. 2018. The Allure of Premeditated Murder: Why Some People Plan to Kill. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Levin, Jack and Julie B. Wiest. 2018. “Covering Mass Murder: An Experimental Examination of the Effect of News Focus—Killer, Victim, or Hero—on Reader Interest.” American Behavioral Scientist, 62(2): 181-194. 
  • Wiest, Julie B. 2017. “Society and Culture” in Introduction to Sociology: A Collaborative Approach. 5th ed. Boise, ID: Ashbury Publishing.
  • Wiest, Julie B. 2016. “Entertaining Genius: U.S. Media Representations of Exceptional Intelligence.” MediaTropes, 6(2): 148-170.
  • Wiest, Julie B. 2016. “Casting Cultural Monsters: Representations of Serial Killers in U.S. and U.K. News Media.” Howard Journal of Communications, 27(4): 327-346.
  • Wiest, Julie B. 2016. “The Role of Mass Media in the Transmission of Culture.” Pp. 203-219 in Communication and Information Technologies Annual (Studies in Media and Communications, Volume 11), edited by L. Robinson, J. Schulz, S. Cotten, T.M. Hale, A.A. Williams, and J.L. Hightower. Bingley, Bradford, UK: Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Wiest, Julie B. and Nahed Eltantawy. 2015. “Mediatization in the Arab World: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of New Media Use.” Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies 5(2): 120-142.

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