Julie B. Wiest, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology

Affiliated Faculty, Department of Women's and Gender Studies

Faculty Senate Vice President

juliebwiest.com | @jbwiest

Julie B. Wiest, Ph.D.

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

WCU Courses

  • SOC 100: 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
  • SOC 525: Digital Analytics (part of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Media Marketing)

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

  • Robinson, Laura, Jeremy Schulz, Hopeton S. Dunn, Wenhong Chen, Antonio A. Casilli, Paola Tubaro, Barry Wellman, Molly-Gloria Harper, Michael J. Stern, Matías Dodel, Julie B. Wiest, Christopher Ball, Tim Huang, Aneka Khilnani, Grant Blank, Massimo Ragnedda, Hiroshi Ono, Bernie Hogan, Gustavo Mesch, Shelia Cotten, Susan B. Kretchmer, Timothy M. Hale, Tomasz Drabowicz, Pu Yan, and Anabel Quan-Haase. 2020. “Digital Inequalities 3.0: Emergent Inequalities in the Information Age.” First Monday, 25(7). 
  • Robinson, Laura, Jeremy Schulz, Grant Blank, Massimo Ragnedda, Hiroshi Ono, Bernie Hogan, Gustavo Mesch, Shelia Cotten, Susan B. Kretchmer, Timothy M. Hale, Tomasz Drabowicz, Pu Yan, Anabel Quan-Haase, Hopeton S. Dunn, Wenhong Chen, Antonio A. Casilli, Paola Tubaro, Barry Wellman, Molly-Gloria Harper, Michael J. Stern, Matías Dodel, Julie B. Wiest, Christopher Ball, Tim Huang, and Aneka Khilnani. 2020. “Digital Inequalities 2.0: Legacy Inequalities in the Information Age.” First Monday, 25(7).
  • Wiest, Julie B. and Jack Levin. 2019. "Effects of Gender and Age on U.S. Adults' Interest in Cinematic Serial Murder." Violence and Gender, 6(3), 168-174.
  • 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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