University of Minnesota
American Studies

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Fall 2015

Scott Hall 316

Office Hours: Tuesday 10am to 3pm or by appointment

Penny Edgell

Penny A Edgell

Sociology . 909 SocSci 267 19th Ave S


  • Culture
  • Religion
  • Gender & Family
  • Symbolic Boundaries & Inequality

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: University of Chicago, 1995.
  • M.A.: Sociology, University of Chicago , Chicago , 1989.
  • A.B. : Sociology, magna cum laude, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, 1986.


Research Activities

  • Prof. Edgell is currently working on two NSF-funded research projects. One focuses on how religious, scientific, and legal frameworks intersect to shape citizens’ understandings of controversial social issues (faith-based prison ministry, genetic reproductive technologies, and faith-based refusal of medical treatment for a dependent child). And using the second wave survey data for the American Mosaic Project, she is analyzing Americans’ attitudes towards religious and racial outgroups, public religious expression, and the civic involvement of the non-religious. She is interested in how religion is a simultaneous source of inclusion and exclusion in American life, shaping symbolic boundaries and understandings of moral worth

Professional Activities

  • Assistant Professor: Cornell University , 1995
  • Member: American Academy of Religion
  • Member: American Sociological Association


  • American Sociological Association Sociology of Religion section Book Award, 2006
  • Best Book Award, American Sociological Association Religion Section, 2000
  • Visiting Faculty Fellow, Princeton University

Courses Taught

  • FSEM 1905 - Religion in America
  • Soc 3090 - Topics: Atheists and Others in the U.S.
  • Soc 3411W - Understanding Formal Organizations
  • Soc 3701 - Social Theory
  • Soc 4309/4309H - Religion in American Public Life: Culture, Politics, & Communities
  • Soc 4966W - Major Project Seminar
  • Soc 8090 - Topics: Religion
  • Soc 8735 - Sociology of Culture
  • Soc 8790 - Adv. Topics in Social Theory: Religion and Public Life
  • Soc 8821 - Research Practicum
  • Soc 8890 - Advanced Research Methods: Qual Methods
Alternative Output Formats Alternative Output Formats