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. He is also a co-author of Out of Hiding: Extremist White Supremacy and How It Can Be Stopped (2024, Routledge), which explains how white supremacist extremism endures, the varied forms it takes, its relationship with systemic racism, and what to do about it.

Futrell's 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

Public News Service
Plenty of political and social leaders are calling for unity and condemning political violence after this weekend's assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump. However, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas sociologist said he is not too optimistic about the country's capacity to use this political moment to catalyze change.
K.N.P.R. News
It has been 10 years since Cliven Bundy summoned a mob to his Nevada ranch and staged an armed standoff over control of federal public land. He was never convicted, and his cows continue to graze illegally today. His son Ammon also remains free despite a months-old arrest warrant. NPR's Kirk Siegler reports on why the Bundys appear to be above the law.
Las Vegas Weekly
Ten years ago this month, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his family hosted a swarm of armed protesters at their ranch in Bunkerville, 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The gathering was a sort of Woodstock for anti-government militias that were, in their view, defending the Bundys from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
In February 2024, American anti-government agitator Ammon Bundy posted a video with a provocative title to his YouTube channel: ‘Want to know where Ammon Bundy is?’

Articles Featuring Robert Futrell

a UNLV football helmet placed on the turf with an Allegiant Stadium sign and empty bleachers visible in the background
Campus News | January 31, 2024

As the nation's most-watched sports entertainment event rolls into town, UNLV researchers are available to provide expertise.

Lake Mead
Campus News | July 11, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV experts who made headlines locally, nationally, and around the world.

Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine graduates line up to cross the commencement stage
Campus News | December 30, 2021

A collection of 2021 headlines highlighting medical school milestones, a steady stronghold on diversity and research rankings, student success, and media mentions featuring faculty experts.

Student playing Jenga
Campus News | September 7, 2021

A collection of news stories highlighting community and perseverance at UNLV.