Michael Ian Borer

Associate Professor, Sociology
Expertise: Urban Culture and Interaction, Religion and Spirituality, Popular Culture

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." 

His 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 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 is interviewed and quoted about research on cities, urban culture, popular culture, social interaction, religion, and identity politics for 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

Thrillist
March 15, 2019
There is an oasis of beer in the desert of America’s expansive west, and yet most have remained blissfully ignorant of its bountiful brews.
KSNV-TV: News 3
November 14, 2018
Every generation comes with an identity, and often, stereotypes as well. But are these generational generalizations far? There isn’t really a simple answer, according to UNLV Associate Professor of Sociology Michael Borer.
Boston Globe
November 2, 2018
When is it too much? When does a city whose cursed baseball team fed a gargantuan sense of civic grievance and self-pity lose something by winning again and again?
Las Vegas Review Journal
March 9, 2017
You’re locked in a dank, windowless room. A keypad next to the door will let you into the next room, bringing you one step closer to freedom — if only you could figure out the code. Seconds are clicking away on a bright red clock on the wall.

Articles Featuring Michael Ian Borer

PeopleOctober 29, 2013
Got Red Sox fever? Here’s why you’re a devoted fan.