Laura Desfor Edles

Laura Desfor Edles
Full-Time Faculty
(818) 677-6379
Office location:
SN 327



  • Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA, 1990.
  • M.A. in Sociology from UCLA, 1984.
  • B.A. in Sociology from UCSB, 1982.
  • Specialty Areas: Cultural Sociology, Sociological Theory

Courses Taught

  • Sociology 305: Culture and Personality
  • Sociology 368/S: Social Theory I
  • Sociology 468/S: Social Theory II
  • Sociology 467: Sociology of Religion
  • Sociology 498AEE/S: Field Study
  • Sociology 585: Special Topics (Cultural Sociology)
  • Sociology 601: Sociological Theory in Historical Perspective (Classical Theory)
  • Sociology 670: Studies in Contemporary Sociology (Contemporary Theory)
  • Sociology 691: Advanced Social Research Techniques (Qualitative Research Methods)

Selected Publications and Presentations


Sociological Theory in the Classical Era, 2nd edition, with Scott Appelrouth.  Forthcoming, 2009.  Pine Forge Press.

Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory, with Scott Appelrouth.  2008.  Pine Forge Press.

Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, with Scott Appelrouth.  2007.  Pine Forge Press.

Sociological Theory in the Classical Era, with Scott Appelrouth.  2004.  Pine Forge Press.

Cultural Sociology in Practice.  2002.  Blackwell Publishers.

Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain: the Transition to Democracy after Franco.  1998. Cambridge University Press.


“Rethinking ‘Race’, ‘Ethnicity’ and ‘Culture’ in Hawaii”, Ethnic and Racial Studies 7:1, 2004, pp. 37-68.

“‘Race’, ‘Ethnicity’, and ‘Culture’ in Hawaii”, in H. DeBose and L. Winters, eds, New Faces in a Changing America, Sage Publications, 2002, pp. 222-246.

“A Culturalist Approach to Ethnic Nationalist Movements: Symbolization and Basque and Catalan Nationalism in Spain”, Social Science History 23:3, 1999, pp. 311-355.

“Culture and Asian Environmental Movements”, with H. Hsiao, et al, in Asia’s Environmental Movements, Y. Lee and A. So, eds, Sharpe Publishers, 1999, pp. 210-229.


Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Culture, by Mark Jacobs and Nancy Weiss   Hanrahan, eds, Cultural Sociology, 2008, pp. 412-4.

Understanding Evil, by Keith Doubt, Contemporary Sociology, 2008, pp. 174-5.

Reworking Race, by Moon-Kie Jung, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2007, pp. 944-5.

The Quest for Survival After Franco, by Cristina Palomares, American Historical Review, 2005, pp. 878-9.

Doves of War, by Paul Preston, American Historical Review, 2004, pp. 1318-9.

Pacific Diaspora, by Paul Spickard, et al, eds, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 2004, pp. 341-2.

European Socialists and Spain, by Pilar Ortuño Anaya, American Historical Review, 2003, pp. 921-2.

Paper Liberals, by David Ortiz, Jr., American Historical Review, 2002, pp. 283-4.

Jesus in Disneyland, by David Lyon, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 2001, pp.    557-8.


 “Contemporary Progressive Christianity and Its Symbolic Ramifications”.  Center for Religion and Civic Culture, University of Southern California, November 2008.

“The Re-emergence of the Christian ‘Left’ in the United States Today”.  World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Budapest, Hungary, June 2008.

“Who Are My People?” California State University, Bakersfield, April 2007.

“CrossWalk America and the Resurgence of Progressive Christianity”.  Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon, October 2006.

“Does the ‘Christian Left’ Have a Chance?”  American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 2006.

“The New Religious Left”.  World Congress of the International Institute of Sociology, Stockholm, Sweden, July 2005.

Research and Interests

  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Race/ethnicity
  • My current  research focuses on the resurgence of the religious “left” in the United States today.