Areas of Research/Interest: Social inequality, political sociology, and public policy.
Jeff Manza (Ph.D University of California – Berkeley, 1995) is Professor of Sociology, and the former Chair (2009-12) of the Department of Sociology at New York University. Before coming to NYU, he taught at Penn State (1996-98) and Northwestern (1998-2006). He grew up in Berkeley, California.
His teaching and research interests lay at the intersection of inequality, political sociology, and public policy. His research has examined how different types of social identities and inequalities influence political processes such as voting behavior, partisanship, and public opinion (at both the macro and micro level). In collaboration with Christopher Uggen, he has been involved in a long-term project that has examined the causes and consequences of felon disenfranchisement in the United States; their book Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy (Oxford University Press 2006) is the standard work on the topic, and Manza and Uggen have provided advice and expert testimony to a variety of policy organizations, courts and legislative bodies dealing with the right to vote for convicted and former felons. Manza is the co-author of three books with Clem Brooks (of Indiana University): Social Cleavages and Political Change (Oxford University Press, 1999), a study of the changing social demography of the American electorate and its partisan consequences; an analysis of the comparative impact of public opinion on welfare state effort in the OECD democracies entitled Why Welfare States Persist (University of Chicago Press, 2007); and most recently the forthcoming Whose Rights?: Counterterrorism and the Dark Side of American Public Opinion (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2013), an examination of the sources and persistence of public support for harsh counterterrorism policies that highlights the role of American national identity in shaping individual attitudes. He is also the co-editor of Navigating Public Opinion (Oxford University Press, 2002), a collaborative examination of the conditions under which public opinion influences policymaking processes. In addition to his books, Manza’s work has appeared in numerous scientific journals in several disciplines, including the American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Sociological Theory, Public Opinion Quarterly, and the Journal of Politics, as well as newspapers and general interest magazines. He is currently working (with Clem Brooks) on a large-scale project on the patterns of "aysemmatric polarization" in the American mass public, both in relation to policy preferences in the face of the most severe economic downturn since the 1930s, rising income inequality since the late 1970's, a range of other policy and topics. One of the first fruits of this project can be seen in a forthcoming American Sociological Review paper.
In addition to scholarship and teaching, Manza has served in a variety of administrative posts. Before coming to NYU, Manza served as the Associate Director and then Acting Director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, a major social science and policy research center at that institution. At NYU, he chaired the Department of Sociology from 2009 to 2012, during which time the Department made a number of major faculty appointments, created a new MA program in Applied Quantitative Research (which will begin in the fall of 2013), and underwent an extensive curricular reform of the graduate program to implement "best practices" found in other top Departments. His most ambitious project while chair, however, was to launch The Sociology Project: An Introduction to the Sociological Imagination (Pearson 2012), a unique joint venture of the Department faculty which seeks to develop a new model for the introductory sociology textbook. The project grew out of a concern that existing books are marred by a commitment to out-of-date characterizations of discipline, and are authored by writers with limited knowledge of all of the subfields typically covered in intro books. The philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn once famously noted that introductory textbooks are notoriously conservative and backward relative to the research mainstream of any scientific field; The Sociology Project is an attempt to overcome the standard shortcomings of the introductory textbook by building a new book from the ground, centered on the research mainstream, and drawing on the rich intellectual resources of the NYU Department to achieve it. The book is also unique in that profits will be reinvested in the graduate and undergraduate sociology programs at NYU, training the next generation of sociologists with a particular focus on identifying and recruiting graduate students from groups historically underrepresented in the discipline. The Sociology Project will be expanding in the near future to encompass upper-level texts drawing on the foundation begun in the first book, as well as state-of-the-art online course delivered across multiple platforms.
Finally, Manza has served on a variety of professional panels and boards, including a 6-year term as a member of the Board of Overseers of the General Social Survey, and he founded the serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Sociology Module for Oxford Bibliographies Online, an ambitious attempt to provide a comprehensive source of the central literatures in each of the subfields in sociology.
Leslie McCall and Jeff Manza. ‘Class Differences in Social and Political Attitudes in America.’ Forthcoming in Oxford Handbook of American Public Opinion and the Media, ed. Lawrence Jacobs and Robert Shapiro, pp. 552-570. New York: Oxford University Press.
Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks. ‘Classes and Politics.’ In Social Class: How Does It Work?, ed. Annette Lareau and Dalton Conley, pp. 201-31. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press (2008).
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘Social Policy Responsiveness in the Developed Democracies.' American Sociological Review 71 (2006): 474-94.
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘Why Do Welfare States Persist? Social Spending Effort in OECD Democracies Since the 1980s.’ Journal of Politics 68 (2006): 815-26.
Christopher Uggen, Jeff Manza, and Melissa Thompson. ‘Citizenship and Reintegration: The Socioeconomic, Familial, and Civic Lives of Criminal Offenders.’ The Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Science 605 (2006): 281-310.
Paul Nieuwbeerta, Clem Brooks, and Jeff Manza. ‘Cleavage-Based Voting in Cross-National Perspective: Evidence From Six Countries.’ Social Science Research 35 (2006): 88-128.
Christopher Uggen, Angela Behrens, and Jeff Manza. ‘Criminal Disenfranchisement.’ Annual Review of Law and Social Science 1 (2005): 307-22.
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘A Great Divide? Religion and Political Change in U.S. National Elections, 1972 - 2000.’ The Sociological Quarterly 45 (2004): 421-50.
Christopher Uggen and Jeff Manza. ‘Voting and Subsequent Crime and Arrest: Evidence from a Community Sample.’ Columbia Human Rights Law Review 36 (2004): 193-215.
Jeff Manza, Clem Brooks, and Christopher Uggen. ‘Public Attitudes Towards Felon Disenfranchisement Laws in the United States.’ Public Opinion Quarterly 68 (2004): 276-87.
Jeff Manza and Christopher Uggen. ‘Punishment and Democracy: The Voting Rights of Nonincarcerated Criminal Offenders in the United States.’ Institute for Policy Research Working Paper 04-03, Fall 2004.
Angela Behrens, Christopher Uggen, and Jeff Manza.‘Ballot Manipulation and the “Menace of Negro Domination”: Racial Threat and Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States, 1850-2000.’ American Journal of Sociology 109 (2003): 559-605.
Christopher Uggen and Jeff Manza. ‘Democratic Contraction? The Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States.’ American Sociological Review 67 (2002): 777-803.
Jeff Manza and Fay Lomax Cook. ‘A Democratic Polity? Three Views of Policy Responsiveness to Public Opinion in the United States.’ American Political Research 30 (2002): 630-67.
Jeff Manza. ‘Political Sociological Models of the U.S. New Deal.’ Annual Review of Sociology 26 (2000): 297-322.
Jeff Manza. ‘Race and the Underdevelopment of the American Welfare State.' Theory and Society 30 (2000): 819-32.
Jeff Manza and Debbie Van Schyndel. ‘Still the Missing Feminist Revolution? Inequalities of Race, Class, and Gender in Introductory Texts.’ [Comment on Ferree and Hall, ASR Dec 1996]. American Sociological Review 64 (2000): 468-75.
Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks. ‘Group Size, Turnout, and Alignments in the Making of U.S. Party Coalitions, 1960-1992.’ European Sociological Review 15 (1999): 369-90.
Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks. ‘The Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections: When? Why? Implications?’ American Journal of Sociology 103 (March 1998): 1235-66.
Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks. ‘The Religious Factor in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1960-1992.’ American Journal of Sociology 103 (July 1997): 38- 81.
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza.‘The Social and Ideological Bases of Middle Class Political Alignments in the United States, 1972-92.’ American Sociological Review 62 (April 1997): 191-208.
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘Social Cleavages and Political Alignments: U.S. Presidential Elections, 1960-1992.’ American Sociological Review 62 (December 1997): 937-46.
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘Class Politics and Political Change in the United States, 1952-1992.’ Social Forces 76 (December 1997): 379-409.
Michael Hout, Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘The Democratic Class Struggle in the United States, 1948-92.’ American Sociological Review 60 (1995): 805-28.
Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza. ‘Do Changing Values Explain the New Politics? A Critical Assessment of the Postmaterialist Thesis.’ The Sociological Quarterly 35 (December 1994): 541-70.
Michael Hout, Clem Brooks and Jeff Manza.‘The Persistence of Classes in Postindustrial Society.’ International Sociology 8 (September 1993): 259-77.