Michael J. Carter

Michael J. Carter
Office location:
Santa Susana 336


Ph.D. Sociology, University of California-Riverside, 2010
M.A. Sociology, San Diego State University, 2003
B.A. Communication Studies, Sonoma State University, 1995

Specialty Areas: Social Psychology, Research Methods, Statistics, Sociological Theory, Self and Identity, Group Processes, Sociology of Emotions, Sociology of Morality, Sociology of Education, Social Institutions.

Research and Interests
Michael J. Carter’s main research interests are in social psychology and microsociological theory, specifically the areas of self and identity. His past research has examined moral identity processes, Deaf identity processes, and identity change. His recent research examines how identities operate in digital media environments. Dr. Carter's research has been published in a variety of academic journals, including Current SociologySocial Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Perspectives, and American Sociological Review.

Courses Taught
Undergraduate Courses

  • SBS 320: Social Science Research Methods
  • SOC 150: Introductory Sociology
  • SOC 250: Introduction to Crime and Criminal Justice
  • SOC 305: Culture and Personality
  • SOC 307: Ethnic Diversity in America
  • SOC 345: Social Psychology
  • SOC 350: Population Dynamics
  • SOC 400: Organizational Theory
  • SOC 430: Theory I - Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOC 468: Theory II - Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • SOC 497/L: Methods of Social Research Lecture/Lab

Graduate Courses

  • SOC 545: Social Psychology
  • SOC 601: Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOC 670: Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • SOC 690: Quantitative Research Methods 
  • SOC 696A: Directed Graduate Research
  • MPA 620: Research Methods for Public Administration
  • MPA 630: Organization Theory and Human Behavior
  • MPA 698S: Graduate Project


Journal Articles

Carter, Michael J. and Hannah Mangum. 2020. “Role Identities: Measurement and Outcomes of Conventional vs. Idiosyncratic Balance.” Current Psychology. DOI: 10.1007/s12144-020-00773-6

Carter, Michael J. and Sara Bruene. 2019. “Examining the Relationship between Self-Perceptions of Person, Role, and Social Identity Change and Self-Concept Clarity.” Imagination, Cognition and Personality 38(4):425-451.

Carter, Michael J. and Emily K. Asencio. 2019. "Identity Processes in Face-to-Face and Digitally Mediated Environments." Sociological Perspectives 62(2):220-239. 

Carter, Michael J. and Jen Marony. 2018. “Examining Self-Perceptions of Identity Change in Person, Role, and Social Identities.” Current Psychology. DOI: 10.1007/s12144-018-9924-5

Carter, Michael J. 2017. "How Self-Perceptions of Identity Change in Person, Role, and Social Identities Relate to Depression." Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 17(4):282-296.

Carter, Michael J. and Patricia Y. Lara. 2016. "Grade Inflation in Higher Education: Is the End in Sight?" Academic Questions 29(3):346-353.

Carter, Michael J. and Danielle C. Mireles. 2016. "Exploring the Relationship between Deaf Identity Verification Processes and Self-Esteem." Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 16(2):102-114.

Carter, Michael J. 2016. "An Autoethnographic Analysis of Sports Identity Change." Sport in Society 19(10):1667-1689.

Carter, Michael J. and Celene Fuller. 2016. "Symbols, Meaning, and Action: The Past, Present, and Future of Symbolic Interactionism." Current Sociology Review 64(6):931-961.

Carter, Michael J. and Celene Fuller. 2015. "Symbolic Interactionism." Sociopedia.isa DOI: 10.1177/205684601561

Carter, Michael J. 2015. "Deaf Identity Centrality: Measurement, Influences, and Outcomes." Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 15(2):146-172.

Abrutyn, Seth and Michael J. Carter. 2015. "The Decline in Shared Collective Conscience as Found in the Shifting Norms and Values of Etiquette Manuals." Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 45(3):352-376.

Carter, Michael J. 2014. "Content Standards, Merit Pay, and Standardized Testing: Teacher Attitudes toward Contemporary Education Policies." Journal of Elementary Education 24(1):1-29. 

Carter, Michael J. and Steven Carter. 2014. "How Themes in Literature Can Inform Sociological Theory, Research, and Teaching." The American Sociologist 45(4):388-411. 

Carter, Michael J. 2014. "Gender Socialization and Identity Theory." Social Sciences 3(2):242-263.

Carter, Michael J. 2013. "Comment on Abrutyn’s ‘Time Crunch’ Problem in Teaching Classical and Contemporary Sociological Theory: Time for the Dichotomy to become a Trichotomy?" The American Sociologist 44(3): 302-311. 

Carter, Michael J. and Heather Harper. 2013. "Student Writing: Strategies to Reverse Ongoing Decline." Academic Questions 26(3):285-295.

Carter, Michael J. 2013. "Advancing Identity Theory: Examining the Relationship between Activated Identities and Behavior in Different Social Contexts." Social Psychology Quarterly 76(3):203-223.

Carter, Michael J. 2013. "The Hermeneutics of Frames and Framing: An Examination of the Media’s Construction of Reality." SAGE Open 3(2):1-12.

Carter, Michael J. 2013. "A Sociological Model of Societal Collapse." Comparative Sociology 12(2):236-254.

Carter, Michael J. 2013. "The Moral Identity and Group Affiliation." Current Research in Social Psychology 21(1):1-13.

Stets, Jan E. and Michael J. Carter. 2012. "A Theory of the Self for the Sociology of Morality." American Sociological Review 77(1):120-140.

Stets, Jan E. and Michael J. Carter. 2011. "The Moral Self: Applying Identity Theory." Social Psychology Quarterly 74(2):192-215.

Book Chapters

Carter, Michael J. and Andrea Montes Alvarado. 2018. "Symbolic Interactionism as a Methodological Framework." Pp. 1-19 in Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences, edited by P. Liamputtong. Singapore: Springer.

Carter, Michael J. 2016. "Microsociologies: Social Exchange, Trust, Justice, and Legitimacy." Pp. 369-386 in Handbook of Contemporary Sociological Theory, edited by S. Abrutyn. New York: Springer.

Carter, Michael J. and Danielle C. Mireles. 2016. "Deaf Identity and Depression." Pp. 509-538 in New Directions in Identity Theory and Research, edited by J. E. Stets and R. T. Serpe. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stets, Jan E., Michael J. Carter, Michael M. Harrod, Christine Cerven, and Seth Abrutyn. 2008. "The Moral Identity, Status, Moral Emotions, and the Normative Order." Pp. 227-251 in Social Structure and Emotion, edited by D. T. Robinson and J. Clay-Warner. San Diego, CA: Elsevier.

Stets, Jan E. and Michael J. Carter. 2006. "The Moral Identity: A Principle Level Identity." Pp. 293-316 in Purpose, Meaning, and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology, edited by Kent McClelland and Thomas J. Fararo. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Encyclopedia Entries

Carter, Michael J. and Rasha Naseif. Forthcoming. “Resocialization.” In Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Second Edition, edited by G. Ritzer and C. Rojek. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Carter, Michael J. and Christopher Lawrence. Forthcoming. "Theory Structure." In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory, edited by J. Mattingly. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Nelson, Jeff A. and Michael J. Carter. 2019. "Gender Socialization." Pp. 404-406 in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach, edited by J. J. Ponzetti, Jr. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA/Gale, a Cengage Company.

Carter, Michael J. and Jonathan Rich. 2018. "Morality." Pp. 1-4 in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Second Edition, edited by G. Ritzer and C. Rojek. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Carter, Michael J. and Heather Harper. 2016. "Role Ambiguity." In Encyclopedia of Family Studies, edited by Constance Shehan. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Carter, Michael J. and Danielle C. Mireles. 2015. "Identity Theory." In Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Second Edition, edited by G. Ritzer. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.

Carter, Michael J. 2013. "Self-Control Theory." Pp. 837-838 in Encyclopedia of White-Collar and Corporate Crime, Second Edition, edited by Lawrence M. Salinger. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Carter, Michael J. 2011. "Identity Theory." Pp. 303-304 in The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by G. Ritzer and J. M. Ryan. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.

Carter, Michael J. 2007. "Identity Theory." Pp. 2223-2226 in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, vol. 5, edited by G. Ritzer. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Professional Reports

Carter, Michael J. 2014. "Annual Information Technology Survey Report of Students, Faculty, and Staff." Information Technology Division, California State University, Northridge.

Carter, Michael J. 2009. "The Future of the Sociology of Morality." Pp. 127-130 in Report: Science of Morality Workshop - Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Approaches Now and in the Future, edited by Steven Hitlin and Jan E. Stets. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.