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Ian Carrillo

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Ian Carrillo

Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2018
Office: 343 Kaufman
Phone: (405) 325-1751
Pronouns: he/him/his

Research Areas

Race and Ethnicity, Environmental Sociology, Economic Sociology, Environmental Justice, Qualitative Sociology


My research focuses on how race and racism shape environmental practices and policies in multi-racial societies, such as Brazil and the U.S. In Brazil, I use the sugar-ethanol industry as a lens to examine the movements and counter-movements related to policies for equity and sustainability. This research studies worksites as contested terrains, where ideological struggles related to racial and class domination manifest in everyday labor and environmental practices in mills. My methods involve ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews with agribusiness elites, rural labor unions, rural workers, and federal labor regulators. Research in this ongoing project has been published in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Environmental Sociology, and Latin American Perspectives. ​My work on the U.S. engages the intersection of race, environmental justice, and political economy. In this theoretical work, I am particularly interested in interrogating how white supremacy impedes collective action and hinders effective policymaking for creating public goods. Research in this area has been published in Current Sociology and a forthcoming chapter in The Handbook of Anti-Environmentalism.

I teach courses in the sociology of race and ethnicity at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These courses cover a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, theory, methodology, labor markets, housing, policing and carceral systems, environmental justice, climate change, education, and banking. At the undergraduate level, I teach students the basic tenets of sociological research on race and ethnicity, including theory, methods, and data analysis. We cover topics of long-standing importance, as well as contemporary events. At the graduate level, students discuss and debate the foundational and contemporary scholarship shaping the field, while also developing their own work in dialogue with ongoing debates.

I am elated to be part of the faculty in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oklahoma. In my undergraduate and graduate classes, I am excited not only to train students to use critical thinking to understand historical and current racial and ethnic inequalities, but also for students to communicate their viewpoints in the classroom to enrich the learning experience. I look forward to sharing my research with the OU community and collaborating with faculty and students within the Department of Sociology and in other departments across campus. Moreover, as a native of southwest Missouri, whose training and research involved living in Wisconsin, California, and Brazil, I am happy to launch my research and teaching programs closer to home.