John Eason

Position title: Associate Professor of Sociology


Phone: (608) 262-0304

7103 Sewell Social Sciences

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Research Interest Statement:

I use multi-method, multi-level approaches in empirical investigations ranging from imprisonment, prisoner reentry, murder, healthcare access, and health disparities across the rural-urban interface. My research interest challenges existing models and develops new theories of community, health, race, punishment, and rural/urban processes in several ways. First, by tracing the emergence of the rural ghetto I establish a new conceptual model of rural neighborhoods. Next, by demonstrating the function of the ghetto in rural communities I extend concentrated disadvantage from urban to rural community process. These relationships are explored in my book, Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation, in print at the University of Chicago Press. In my most recent project I collaborate with the National Immigrant Justice Center to investigate health outcomes in immigrant detention centers.

Departmental Areas of Interest:

Communities and Urban Sociology, Economic Sociology, Qualitative Methods, Race and Ethnic Studies, Rural Sociology


Soc 441 Criminology

Other Campus Affiliations:

Community and Environmental Sociology
Center for Demography and Ecology
Center for Law, Society & Justice
Department of Afro-American Studies
Institute for Research on Poverty

Selected Publications:

Hernandez, David., John M. Eason, Patrick Rubio-Goldsmith, Richard Abel, and Andrew McNeely. 2018. “With Mass Deportation Comes Mass Punishment: Punitive Capacity, Health, and Standards in US Immigrant Detention” in The Routledge Handbook of Immigration & Crime, edited by Holly Ventura Miller and Anthony Peguero.

Kay S. Varela, Peguero, Anthony A., John M. Eason, Miner P. “Trey” Marchbanks III, and Jamilia Blake. 2018. “School Strictness and Education: Investigating Racial and Ethnic Educational Inequalities Associated with Being Pushed Out.” Sociology of Race& Ethnicity 4(2): 261-280.

Eason, John M., Danielle Zucker, and Christopher Wildeman. 2017. “Mass imprisonment across the rural-urban interface”, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 672(1): 202-216.

Eason, John M. 2017. “Prisons as Panacea or Pariah?: The Countervailing Consequences of the Prison Boom on the Political Economy of Rural Towns.” Social Sciences 6(1): 7.

Eason, John M. 2017. Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Eason, John M. 2016. “Reclaiming the Prison Boom:  Considering Prison Proliferation in the Era of Mass Imprisonment.” Sociology Compass 10: 261-271.