Lynette Spillman is Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Spillman’s research and teaching interests are grounded in cultural sociology and extend to economic sociology, social theory, comparative historical sociology, and political sociology. Her work examines cultural influences on social processes, and she investigates why meanings vary, how meanings influence human action, and the ways meaning-making affects social cohesion and conflict. She is especially interested in understanding economic and political culture in long-term historical processes. She teaches classes in cultural sociology, economic sociology, qualitative methods, social theory, and political sociology, and she has been a member of over sixty-five committees for students’ doctoral dissertations, masters’ theses, and senior theses.

Thematic Interests

Cultural sociology; social theory; economic sociology; comparative historical sociology; qualitative methods; political sociology

Current Research

Trade Associations and Economic Governance.

Book Chapters

“Landscapes, Fields, and Stages,” in Jason Mast and Jeffrey Alexander, eds., Cultural Sociology and the 2016 Election (tentative title) (Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming)
“Cultural Sociology,” (with Michael Strand) in Peter Kivisto, ed., Cambridge Handbook of Social Theory (Forthcoming)
“Culture and Economic Life,” in Jeffrey C. Alexander and Philip Smith, eds., Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology (2011)
“Political Centers, Progressive Narratives, and Cultural Trauma: Coming to Terms with the Nanjing Massacre in China, 1937–1979” (with Xiaohong Xu), in Mikyoung Kim and Barry Schwartz, eds., North East Asia’s Difficult Past: Studies in Collective Memory (Palgrave MacMillan, 2010)
“A Special Camaraderie with Colleagues: Business Associations and Cultural Production for Economic Action,” in Isaac Reed and Jeff Alexander, eds., Meaning and Method: The Cultural Approach to Sociology, Yale Series in Cultural Sociology (Paradigm Press, 2009)
“Nations ” (with Russell Faeges), in Julia Adams, Elisabeth S. Clemens, and Ann Shola Orloff, eds., The Making and Unmaking of Modernity: Politics and Processes in Historical Sociology (Duke University Press, 2005)
“Causal Reasoning, Historical Logic, and Sociological Explanation,” in Jeff Alexander, Gary Marx, and Christine Williams, eds., Self, Social Structure, and Beliefs: Explorations in the Sociological Thought of Neil J. Smelser (University of California Press, 2004)


Cultural Sociology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001)

Journal Articles

“Professionalism as a Cultural Form: Knowledge, Craft, and Moral Agency,” (with Sorcha A. Brophy) Journal of Professions and Organizations, 2018.
"Interest-Oriented Action" (with Michael Strand), Annual Review of Sociology 39 (2013)
"Texts, Bodies, and the Memory of Bloody Sunday" (with Brian Conway), Symbolic Interaction 30, 1 (2007), pp. 79-103
“Cultural Sociology at the Crossroads of the Discipline” (with Mark Jacobs), Poetics 33, 1 (2005)
“Enriching Exchange: Cultural Dimensions of Markets,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology 58 (1999)
“‘Neither the Same Nation Nor Different Nations’: Constitutional Conventions in the United States and Australia,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 38 (1996)

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