Robert Futrell headshot

Robert Futrell, Ph.D.




Robert Futrell is a Professor of Sociology. He specializes in areas that include: 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 U.S. desert southwest. His current social movement scholarship focuses on the cultural and organizational dynamics of social movement persistence and political extremism. His research has been published in outlets such as Social Problems, Sociological Quarterly, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Science, Technology, & Human Values, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, among others. Dr. Futrell has also received several teaching awards including the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Futrell joined the UNLV Sociology faculty in 1999.

Recent Courses Taught

  • SOC 101 — Principles of Sociology
  • SOC 413/613 — Sociology of Sport
  • SOC 407/607 — Environmental and Society
  • SOC 455/655 — Social Movements and Social Change
  • SOC 459/659 — Social Dilemmas of Climate Change
  • SOC 709 — Graduate Seminar in Teaching Sociology
  • SOC 755 — Graduate Seminar in Social Movements
  • SOC 768 — Graduate Seminar in Environmental Sociology

Current Research Projects

  • U.S. White Power Mobilization
    This project consists of a series of articles and a book project with Pete Simi (Chapman University) on the mobilization and persistence of the white power movement in the United States. Their book is titled: American Swastika: Inside the U.S. White Power Movement’s Hidden Space of Hate (2015 Rowman & Littlefield) and their work has been featured in news media outlets such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR’s All Things Considered, Here and Now and On Point.
  • Las Vegas Metropolitan Area Social Survey
    The project surveys the socio-spatial distribution of attitudes, knowledge, and desires of Las Vegas metropolitan area residents about environmental, social, and economic sustainability. The first wave, completed in 2010, is available.
  • UNLV Nevada Test Site Oral History Project
    This recently completed grant-funded project with Andy Kirk (UNLV History) and Mary Palevsky archives more than 340 hours of oral histories with Test Site workers, Native Americans, down-winders, and others affected by the U.S. continental site for nuclear testing. This project was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Education.

Mentoring Topics

Promotion and tenure preparation, balancing research/teaching/service/life, Faculty-in-Residence Mentoring Group leader, research presentation coach