Michael Ian Borer

Associate Professor, Sociology
Director, Religious Studies Program
Expertise: Popular Culture, Urban Culture and Interaction, Religion and Spirituality, Craft Beer

Biography

Michael Ian Borer's research and teaching interests focus on the creative ways that individuals and groups  make sense of the world around them. Specifically, he focuses on urban interactions and community building, religious and spiritual practices and rituals, and the influence of popular culture on social relations. Much of his research aims to uncover the social dynamics of the so-called "culture wars." 

He is the editor of The Varieties of Urban Experience: The American City and the Practice of Culture (UA Press, 2006); the author of Faithful to Fenway: Believing in Boston, Baseball, and America’s Most Beloved Ballpark (NYU Press, 2008) and Vegas Brews: Craft Beer and the Birth of a Local Scene (NYU Press, 2019); and co-author of Urban People and Places: The Sociology of Cities, Suburbs, and Towns (SAGE, 2014). His work has been published in City & Community, the Journal of Popular Culture, Religion & American Culture, Social Psychology Quarterly, Symbolic Interaction, and the Journal of Religion & Media, among other journals and edited books.

Dr. Borer is an award-winning scholar, teacher, and mentor. In recent years, he was the recipient of the 2011 Maines Narrative Research Award - granted by the Ethnography Division of the National Communications Association - for his article “From Collective Memory to Collective Imagination: Time, Place, and Urban Redevelopment.” He was awarded the UNLV Graduate and Professional Student Association Outstanding Mentor Award in 2012 and the College of Liberal Arts William Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014. This past summer, he was presented with the Early-in-Career Award by the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

As a public sociologist, Dr. Borer regularly has been quoted about research on cities, urban culture, popular culture, social interaction, religion, and identity politics in local, national, and international media including National Public Radio (NPR), CNN, Fox News, ESPN, Univision, the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Las Vegas Sun, the Las Vegas Weekly, the Jerusalem Post, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, MLB.com, and Penn & Teller's Showtime Show "Bullshit."

Education

  • Ph.D., Sociology, Boston University
  • M.A., Religious Studies, Boston University
  • B.A., Anthropology and Sociology, Lafayette College

Michael Ian Borer In The News

August 24, 2021
What compels people to line up to buy beer?
September 22, 2020
Communion from a common cup. Handshakes and hugs. Even meeting for coffee and doughnuts after the service. All are worship practices that have disappeared over the past six months as the coronavirus pandemic hit Southern Nevada.
May 27, 2020
Danielle Richards was taking packages out of her car recently, wearing a face mask as she always does in public these days.
May 26, 2020
Danielle Richards was taking packages out of her car recently, wearing a face mask as she always does in public these days.

Articles Featuring Michael Ian Borer

medical worker in full protective suit making "LV" sign with hands
Business and Community | December 31, 2020
As the pandemic tightened its grip on Nevada, the nation, and the world, UNLV responded in ways big and small. Members of the media also turned to UNLV's faculty experts for answers.
Eight UNLV graduates pose for a photo in their graduation attire.
Campus News | June 11, 2020
A collection of stories featuring UNLV’s continued flexibility and adaptability in the face of COVID-19.
UNLV professor Matthew Lachniet works in his lab on campus.
People | December 27, 2019
A collection of stories highlighting UNLV faculty and students who made the news in 2019.
People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus News | November 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.