Michael Ian Borer

Associate Professor, Sociology
Director, Religious Studies Program
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." 

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 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

KNPR News
October 31, 2019
Las Vegas is one of America’s booziest cities. And beer has played a big part in developing that reputation.
Las Vegas Weekly
October 3, 2019
This UNLV sociology professor turns his researcher's eye toward the emerging craft beer scene in Las Vegas.
Independent
September 23, 2019
Fears that thousands of alien hunters could attempt to “storm” Area 51 after responding to a viral Facebook event have proved unfounded, with fewer than 200 people turning up at the gates of the secretive US military base.
KLAS-TV: 8 News Now
September 23, 2019
Storm Area 51 has everyone talking about the seclude once-secret military base. So, when people look back at Area 51 and when it garnered national attention to now, and how it sprung back into the pop culture spotlight — it’s very apparent the age of social media was a driving force.

Articles Featuring Michael Ian Borer

People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus NewsNovember 1, 2019
A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.
Michael Ian Borer
PeopleOctober 29, 2013
Got Red Sox fever? Here’s why you’re a devoted fan.