Darren Sherkat | Sociology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Darren Sherkat


Darren Sherkat

Office: Faner 3422

Phone: (618) 453-7619

Email: sherkat@siu.edu

CV (pdf)

Darren Sherkat is a Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at SIU Carbondale. He has published 54 articles in peer-reviewed journal and 11 chapters in edited books. His work has appeared in top general interest sociology journals like Social Forces, American Sociological Review, and Social Science Research. He has also performed considerable editorial work, and has served on the editorial boards of American Sociological Review, Social Forces and American Journal of Sociology, and is currently on the editorial boards of Social Science Research, Social Psychology Quarterly, Social Science Journal, Sociological Focus, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. Dr. Sherkat was editor and book review editor of Review of Religious Research from 1999-2001.

On a personal note, he races road bikes, cyclocross, and even mountain bikes sometimes. He races for Team Mack Racing, which is a nice bunch of mostly master's racers.

Current Research

Most of Dr. Sherkat's work has been on the intersection of religion, family, and politics. He tends to explore individual level theories and data, with a quantitative bent. While the bulk of recent studies of religion in the US have tended to focus on the benefits of religion for individuals and society, Sherkat’s work tends to focus on features of religion that are not necessarily so wholesome, with a particular focus on contemporary American conservative Christianity. His previous investigations have included inquiries into harsh parenting practices among fundamentalist Christians, fundamentalists’ opposition to civil liberties, the conflict between religion and science, and the negative impact of fundamentalism on educational and occupational attainment.

Dr. Sherkat is currently finishing a book, Religious Identification in America, which is forthcoming on NYU Press. He has several current projects investigating how religious and political factors influence political preferences for marriage rights for same sex couples, and government policies to reduce inequality. 

Most recently, in the Fall, Dr. Sherkat and Lisa Keister co-sponsored a conference on Religion and Inequality at Duke, which was partly funded by a $10,000 grant from the Russell Sage foundation. The papers from the conference also include chapters authored by Nadia Amin (SIU PHD 2012) and Dr. Sherkat, and another coauthored with Lisa. The papers from the conference will be published in a book edited by Lisa Keister and Darren Sherkat, Religion and Inequalities, which is forthcoming on Cambridge University Press, to be released in 2013.

Areas of Specialization and Interest

  • sociology of religion
  • social movements and collective behavior
  • statistics and methods
  • contemporary sociological theory

Selection of Courses Taught

  • SOC 351: Sociology of Religion

  • SOC 424: Social Movements and Collective Behavior

  • Soc 476/ Poli Sci 476: Religion and Politics

  • Soc 497: Senior Seminar

  • SOC 526a: Quantitative Methods in Sociology

  • SOC 551: Sociology of Religion

Recent Publications

Moulton, Benjamin and Darren E. Sherkat. 2012. ”Specifying the Effects of Religion and Educational Attainment on Mortality Risk for U.S. Adults.” Sociological Spectrum. 32:1, 1-19.

Sherkat, Darren E. 2012. “Religion and the American Occupational Structure.” Research in the Sociology of Work. 23:75-102.

Sherkat, Darren E. 2012. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. By Robert Putnam and David Campbell. American Journal of Sociology. 117:1264-1266.

Sherkat, Darren E. 2012. “The Editorial Process and Politicized Scholarship: Monday Morning Editorial Quarterbacking and a Call for Scientific Vigilance.” Social Science Research. 41(6):1346-9.