Shawn Ratcliff photo

Google Scholar

Curriculum Vita

Degree and Year in Program

4th Year Ph.D. Student

Advisors

Regina Werum

Areas of Specialization

Social Movements, Political Sociology, Inequality

Comprehensive Exam Area

Inequalities

About Me

I came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015 after receiving my Bachelor’s Degree at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Shortly after arriving at UNL, I began working for Dr. Regina Werum on an NGA-funded research project analyzing social unrest in the sub-Indian continent (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan) – in collaboration with professors and graduate students in both the Computer Science department at UNL and partnering universities. While working on this project, I began working on my Master’s Thesis that sought to revisit earlier relative deprivation approaches to social unrest through a more structural approach. Using previous British Colonial countries as a case study, I find economic, social, and political dynamics within countries continue to be important in broad patterns of social protest. These projects led to a more recent endeavor on understanding structural inequality, specifically gender inequality, in India (2010-2012). All the projects mentioned above provide insight into how non-Western and (semi-)peripheral countries continue to be informed by structural inequalities.

While some of my research is cross-national, my dissertation focuses on the U.S. gun rights movement and the extent to which organizational resources (e.g., campaign contributions) have effectively introduced and passed gun rights legislation, as well as stifled gun control legislation across political levels. Outside of social movements, I have collaborated with other graduate students on inequality related projects. Some of this research focuses on coming out patterns for LGB individuals, while other focuses on the racializied and gendered processes of marital quality on health-related outcomes. These research endeavors overlap with my original sociological interests in inequality.

Beyond research, my teaching interest often focus on sociological methods and social inequalities. I have taught Introduction to Social Research I (SOCI 205), which focuses on providing students with the background and skills regarding different methodological approaches. Moreover, I often teach Scoiology of Race and Ethnicity (SOCI 217), which focuses on how racial and ethnic relations in the United States, and abroad, have changed over the course of history and intersect with institutions and social movements.

 Since my time at UNL, I have received a number of different awards related to research and writing. In Summer 2016, I was the recipient of the Summer Ogle Research Fellowship to help jumpstart data collection and efforts towards completing my Master’s Thesis. I was a joint winner of the Department of Sociology Research Award for research written on LGB individuals coming out patterns. And I was a co-recipient of the 2017-18 Woodberry Prize from the Departments of History and English on a paper titled “Back to Africa: Liberia, Perceptions of Race, and Diplomacy”, focusing on nuanced explanations regarding African American perspectives and diplomacy performance regarding Liberia during the 19th Century.

Outside of academics, I serve as the current (2018-19) Executive Vice President of the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA), which is the graduate student body at UNL. Moreover, my free time often consists of running along many of the trails in Lincoln, reading and listening to NPR, and lounging around with my cat.

Courses Taught

SOCI 217 (Instructor)

SOCI 205 (Instructor)

SOCI 101 (Recitation)  

Select Publications

Joshi, Deepti, Sudeep Basnet, Hariharn Arunachalam, Leen-Kiat Soh, Ashok Samal, Shawn Ratcliff, and Regina Werum. 2017. “SURGE-Social Unrest Reconnaissance GazEteer (Demo Paper). In Proceedings of the 25th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (SIGSPATIAL ’17). ACM, New York, NY.