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David Dickens, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Office: CBC-B 240


David Dickens' areas of specialization include critical and postmodern theory, qualitative methods, culture, and development. Dickens joined the UNLV department of sociology in 1984 and has published research in Symbolic Interaction, Cultural Studies, Sociological Perspectives, Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Gaming Research and Review Journal, and the International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

Recent Courses Taught

  • SOC 795 — Seminar on Postmodernism
  • SOC 795 — Seminar on Critical Theory
  • SOC 701 — Logic of Social Inquiry
  • SOC 497/697 — Celebrity Culture
  • SOC 724 — Contemporary Sociological Theory

Current Research Projects

  • Theorizing the Postmodern Transition
    In this research he proposes a conceptualization of contemporary society as one of transition between modern, industrial and postmodern, postindustrial society based on the neo-Marxist theory of late capitalism and Durkheim's concept of anomie.
  • Critical Theory of Postmodernity
    Here he offers an updating and reconceptualization of aspects from the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Particular emphasis is placed on contemporary changes in political economy as well as the culture industry.

Select Publications

  • 2013 – Dickens, David R. "Postmodernism." In Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social
    Sciences, edited by Byron Kaldis. Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications
  • 2012 – Dickens, David R. "Beyond the Strip: Life and Culture on the Outer Limits of 'Sin City'". In World Film Locations: Las Vegas. London, UK: Intellect Books.
  • 2011 – Dickens, David R. "Is Las Vegas a 'Real City'?" Gaming Research and Review Journal 15,2:119-120.
  • 2010 – Dickens, David R. "Telos at Kansas." In Journal of No Illusions: The Legacy of Telos, edited by Ben Agger and Timothy Luke. New York: Telos Press.
  • 2008 – Dickens, David R. "Dimensions of the Postmodern Self." Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Volume 30:183-196.
  • 2008 – Dickens, David R. (with Kurt Borchard). "Mystification of the Labor Process in Contemporary Consumer Culture." Cultural Studies – Critical Methodologies 8,4:558-567.
  • 2007 – Dickens, David R. (with Bo Bernhard and Paul Shapiro). "Gambling Alone? A Study of Solitary and Social Gambling in America." Gaming Research and Review Journal 11,2:1-13.
  • 2002 – Dickens, David R. "Time and Postmodernism" Symbolic Interaction 24(3):396-398.
  • 2000 – Dickens, David R., "Attitudes and Platitudes: Postmodernism and Interactionist Thought". Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Volume 23:71-82.
  • 1999 – Dickens, David R. (with Mark Gottdiener and Claudia C. Collins). Las Vegas: The Social Production of an All-American City. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • 1997 – Dickens, David R. and Andrea Fontana. "On Nostalgic Reconstruction in Interactionist Thought". Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Volume 20:181-192.
  • 1996 – Dickens, David R. and John Harms. "Postmodern Media Studies: Analysis or Symptom?" Critical Studies in Mass Communication 13(3): 210-227.
  • 1996 – Dickens, David R., "Postmodernism, Cultural Studies, and Contemporary Social Inquiry." Cultural Studies: A Research Annual, Volume 1:27-35.
  • 1995 – Dickens, David R. "The Ethical Horizons of Postmodernity". Symbolic Interaction 18,2:535-542.
  • 1995 – Dickens, David R. "Whither Ethnography?" Symbolic Interaction  18,4:207-216.
  • 1994 – Dickens, David R. "Cultural Studies in Sociology". Symbolic Interaction 17,2:99-105.
  • 1994 – Dickens, David R. and Andrea Fontana (eds.).  Postmodernism and Social Inquiry. New York and London: Guilford Press and University College London Press (also translated into Chinese and Korean).
  • 1994 – Dickens, David R., "North American Theories of Postmodern Culture." Pp. 76-100 in Postmodernism and Social Inquiry. D. Dickens and A. Fontana (eds.), Guilford Press and University College London Press.
  • 1994 – Dickens, David R. "Postmodernism in the Social Sciences." Pp. 1-22 in Postmodernism and Social Inquiry, D. Dickens and A. Fontana (eds.), Guilford Press and University College London Press.
  • 1990 – Dickens, David R. "Deconstruction and Marxist Inquiry." Sociological Perspectives 33:147-158.
  • 1990 – Dickens, David R. and James H. Frey. "Leisure as a Primary Institution." Sociological Inquiry 60:264-273.
  • 1989 – Dickens, David R. "The Relevance of Domestic Traditions in the Development Process: Iran, 1963-1979."  International Journal of Contemporary Sociology 26:55-70.
  • 1989 – Dickens, David R. and Andrea Fontana. "Postmodernism and Social Inquiry." Symbolic Interaction 12,1:192-189.
  • 1988 – Dickens, David R. and Alessandro Bonanno. "Analyzing Dependency, Development, and Underdevelopment: Suggestions for an Alternative Approach." Sociological Spectrum 8,2:169-186.
  • 1987 – Dickens, David R. and Robert E. Rucker, "Perspectives and Conceptions of Development in Third World Nations."  International Journal of Contemporary Sociology 24,1: 245-256.
  • 1986 – Dickens, David R. "Leisure and Mass Culture." Leisure Information Quarterly 12,4 (Spring):10-11.
  • 1984 – Dickens, David R. and Robert Goldman. "Leisure and Legitimation," Society and Leisure 7,2 (Autumn):299-323.
  • 1983 – Goldman, Robert and David R. Dickens. "The Selling of Rural America." Rural Sociology.  47,4 (Winter):585-606.
  • 1982 – Dickens, David R. "The Critical Project of Jurgen Habermas" in Changing Social Science: Critical Theory and Other Critical Perspectives, Daniel Sabia and Jerald Wallulis (eds.), State University of New York Press, pp. 131-155.
  • 1979 – Dickens, David R. "Phenomenology" in Theoretical Perspectives in Sociology, Scott McNall (ed.), St. Martin's Press, pp. 325-347.