Joe Johnston, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Joe is intrigued by community engaged learning and is the internships coordinator for Sociology and Criminal Justice. Joe teaches (a) a Sociology of Education course in which students enjoy early morning walks with elementary school children, (b) an “internships...

Joe Johnston

Contact Information

Education & Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D. Sociology, Indiana University-Bloomington

M.A. Sociology, Indiana University-Bloomington

M.A. Teaching, Marian College

B.A. Sociology, Marian College

Courses Taught

SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology

SOCI 202: Statistics for Social Science

SOCI 330: Society and the Individual

SOCI 385: Law and Society

SOCI 388: Sociology of Education

SOCI/CRIM 497: Seminar

SOSJ 280: Special Topics

SOSJ 499: Solidarity and Social Justice Praxis


Joe is intrigued by community engaged learning and is the internships coordinator for Sociology and Criminal Justice. Joe teaches (a) a Sociology of Education course in which students enjoy early morning walks with elementary school children, (b) an “internships class” for Sociology and Criminal Justice students, (c) the Solidarity and Social Justice 499 Praxis course, and (d) accompanies students on the Justice in January immersion trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Joe’s research focuses on understanding urban inequalities in K-12 public schools in the United States. Recently, he has investigated how urban educational policies—charter schools, integration plans, school finance reform—come to be adopted, or not. His research has appeared in the Journal of School Choice, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociological Perspectives, and Sociology of Education.

Johnston, Joseph B. 2016. “How Integration Matters: An Alternative Vision for Urban Education in an Era of the Market.” Journal of School Choice 10(4):516-536.

Related media and blog coverage:

  • Darker Than Blue: The Failure of School Integration. October 6, 2015. Interchange: Conversations that challenge the ways we perceive the world around us. WFHB-Bloomington, IN.
  • Targeting the Vulnerable: Charter Legislation and Urban School Districts. October 6, 2015. Interchange: Conversations that challenge the ways we perceive the world around us. WFHB-Bloomington, IN.
  • Why Indiana has charter schools and Kentucky doesn’t. August 28, 2015. School Matters: K-12 education in Indiana.
  • Perceptions of urban schools led to divergent charter school policies in Indiana and Kentucky. August 25, 2015. Indiana University Newsroom.

Johnston, Joseph B. 2014. “Resisting Charters: A Comparative Policy Development Analysis of Washington and Kentucky, 2002-2012.” Sociology of Education 87(4):223-240.

Related media and blog coverage:

  • Are charter schools public? Washington court says no. September 14, 2015. School Matters: K-12 education in Indiana.

Johnston, Joseph B. 2013. “Religion and Volunteering over the Adult Life Course.” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 52(4):733-752.

  • Sociology of Education
  • Urban Inequality
  • Political Sociology
  • Comparative/Historical