Neil L. Gross

Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology

Office: Diamond 203 [ campus map ]
Phone: 207-859-4712
Fax: 207-859-5369
Office Hours:
M: 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Gross, Neil L.


B.A., 1992, University of California-Berkeley
Ph.D., 2002, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Areas of Expertise

  • Sociological theory
  • Sociology of intellectuals
  • Sociology of higher education
  • Politics

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
SO215 AClassical Sociological Theory
SO243 ACollege in Crisis?
SO364 APolicing the American City
SO398 AAmerican Class Structure

Professional Information

Neil Gross joined the Colby faculty in 2015 as chair of the Department of Sociology. He taught previously at Princeton, the University of British Columbia, Harvard, and the University of Southern California.

Gross works primarily on sociological theory and the sociology of intellectual life. He is the author of Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care? (Harvard, 2013) and Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher (Chicago, 2008). He is the coeditor of Professors and Their Politics (with Solon Simmons, Johns Hopkins, 2014); of Social Knowledge in the Making (with Charles Camic and Michele Lamont, Chicago, 2011), and of Durkheim’s Philosophy Lectures: Notes from the Lycée de Sens Course, 1883-4 (with Robert Alun Jones, Cambridge, 2004).

Gross’s articles have been published in the American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Theory & Society, and other leading journals of the field. From 2009-2015 he edited Sociological Theory, the theory journal of the American Sociological Association. He is the past chair of the ASA’s History of Sociology section, and the current chair of the ASA’s Theory section.

Gross is currently working on pragmatist philosophy and the social sciences; on a biography of Seymour Martin Lipset, the mid-20th century sociologist and political scientist; on a study of politics and views of science; and on a host of other topics.

A former police officer, Gross is leading a new program at Colby’s Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement on police reform issues.


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