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

Edles, Laura Desfor and Scott Appelrouth. 2014.  Sociological Theory in the Classical Era, 3rd ed. Sage/Pine Forge Press (1st ed. 2004; 2nd ed. 2010).

Edles, Laura Desfor.  2013.  “Contemporary Progressive Christianity and its Symbolic Ramifications.” Cultural Sociology 7(1):1-22. 

Back, Les and Andy Bennett, Laura Desfor Edles, Margaret Gibson, David Inglis, Ron Jacobs, and Ian Woodward.  2012. Cultural Sociology: An Introduction.  Wiley-Blackwell.

Appelrouth, Scott and Laura Desfor Edles.  2012.  Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory, 2nd ed. Sage/Pine Forge Press (1st ed. 2008).

Scott Appelrouth and Laura Desfor Edles. 2011.  Sociological Theory in the Contemporary Era, Sage/Pine Forge (1st ed. 2007).

Alexander, Jeffrey, Ken Thompson, and Laura Desfor Edles. 2008.  A Contemporary Introduction to Sociology: A Cultural Approach, 2nd ed.. Paradigm Publishers.

Edles, Laura Desfor. 2004.   “Rethinking ‘Race’, ‘Ethnicity’ and ‘Culture’ in Hawaii”, Ethnic and Racial Studies 7(1): 37-68.

Edles, Laura Desfor, 2002.  Cultural Sociology in Practice.  Blackwell.

Edles, Laura Desfor.  2002. “‘Race’, ‘Ethnicity’, and ‘Culture’ in Hawaii”.  In New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century, edited by Herman DeBose and Loretta Winters.

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

Edles, Laura Desfor.  1998Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain.  Cambridge University Press.

Edles, Laura Desfor.  1995. “Rethinking Democratic Transition: A Culturalist Critique and the Spanish Case".  Theory and  Society 24: 355-384.

Edles, Laura Desfor.  1993.  “The Sacred and the Spanish Transition to Democracy", Social Compass 40: 399- 414.


“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.