Robert Futrell

Professor of Sociology
Expertise: Social Movements, Political Extremism, Environmental Sociology, Urban Sustainability


Robert Futrell specializes in social movements and social change, environmental sociology, urban sustainability, and science and technology. His environmental scholarship focuses on sustainability, climate change, and urban life in the United States' desert Southwest. His current social movement scholarship focuses on the cultural and organizational dynamics of social movement persistence and political extremism. His co-authored book, American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement's Hidden Spaces of Hate (2015, Rowman & Littlefield) explains white supremacy in the U.S. His research has been published in outlets such as Social ProblemsSociological QuarterlyJournal of Environmental Planning and ManagementScience, Technology, & Human Values, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, among others.



  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Kansas

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Robert Futrell In The News

Wyoming Public Media
October 28, 2020
As election day approaches, some states in the Mountain West are preparing for potential voter intimidation and violence following rhetoric from President Donald Trump.
Nevada Current
October 21, 2020
No major voting issues have been reported in Nevada since early voting began Saturday, but the potential for voter intimidation and incited violence remains a real threat to the election process, a new report warns.
Downtown News Magazine
October 8, 2020
We have all seen them before – armed, military-like figures like those showing up at the state capitol building this past spring to protest the pandemic lockdown in the state, or in broadcast coverage of Black Lives Matter protests or counter-protests. Their numbers – both formal and informal – have vacillated over the years, often a bi-product of current day events. Today, these paramilitary organizations are on the rise again. Welcome to the militia movement.
Correio Braziliense
September 8, 2020
They are supported by the Second Amendment to the Constitution, a text that considers the right to possession of weapons inalienable. They also use the internet for an almost devotion to rifles, in addition to engaging in advocacy for violence and radical political discourse. So-called "watchmen" and "militias" have made headlines in the United States. On August 26, three days after Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by the police, anti-racism protests erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Armed groups arrived from neighboring Illinois and clashed with activists from the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM, “Black lives matter”).

Articles Featuring Robert Futrell

Campus NewsNovember 5, 2020
A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV’s commitment to community, health care, and research.
A UNLV banner on campus.
Campus NewsJuly 2, 2020
A collection of news stories featuring the people and programs of UNLV.
groups of people on campus
ResearchJuly 23, 2019
New research reveals how undocumented students pursue justice and joy at the nation’s most diverse campus.
hand holding cell phone with social media apps on screen
ResearchJune 7, 2019
UNLV sociology doctoral students study how two politically polarized activist groups use social media to organize and impact legislation.