Dr. Mitch Berbrier

Professor, Sociology


1310 Ben Graves Drive
Morton Hall
Room 245
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map



I am a left-handed and right-footed only child who grew up in a quiet suburban neighborhood near Montreal. I lived in a three-bedroom split-level house with my mom, dad, and maternal grandmother. For most of my childhood, my parents ran a neighborhood children's shoe store, the kind of mom-and-pop local enterprise so rare these days.

I received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in 1984, majoring in Accounting. Oops. I worked briefly in an accounting firm before returning to school to earn a second bachelor's degree, a B.A. in Psychology, in 1987. I then moved to Indiana for grad school, where I earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. After a brief stint in Milwaukee, I moved to Huntsville in 1996 to take a job at UAH. Here I have held a variety of positions -- Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Chair of the Department of Sociology, UAH Faculty Senate President, and Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences. In 2017, after three years in the Dean's role, I resigned to return to the far less stressful and potentially satisfying position of Professor of Sociology for the remaining few years of my career.

Family is extremely important to me. I am luckily and happily married to Melanie Berbrier. We are a busy blended family that includes four teenagers -- Samantha and Jack (my two children), as well as Brooke and Jesse (Melanie's two); George and Octavian, our sweet and loopy dogs; and Casper and Sunny (two loud and jittery parakeets).

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Sociology, Indiana University, 1996
  • M.A., Sociology, Indiana University, 1990
  • B.A., Psychology, McGill University, 1987
  • B.Comm., Accounting, McGill University, 1984
  • DEC (Diplome d'etudes Collegiale), Vanier College, 1981

Recent Publications

  • Berbrier, Mitch. 2013. “How Monuments Endure: Public Good Framing as Reiterated Problem-Solving in the Statements of Purpose of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, 1916–2005.” Qualitative Sociology 36(2): 161-87.

  • Berbrier, Mitch. “The Peace Path of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens: Making Place for Cultures of Peace.” Peace and Change, 37(3):413-443.

  • Berbrier, Mitch. “The Diverse Construction of Race and Ethnicity.” Pp.567-591 in Handbook of Constructionist Research, edited by James A. Holstein and Jaber F. Gubrium. NY: Guilford Publications.

  • Berbrier, Mitch. “White Supremacy.” Pp. 1032-33 in Vincent Parillo, ed., Encyclopedia of Social Problems, Volume II. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

  • Spencer, J. William, Donileen Loseke, James Holstein, and Mitch Berbrier. “Social Problems Theory.” In Toward a Just World. 2nd edition. Knoxville, TN: Society for the Study of Social Problems.

  • Berbrier, Mitch and Elaine Pruett. "When Is Inequality a Problem? Victim Contests, Injustice Frames, and the Case of the Office of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Student Support Services at Indiana University" Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35:257-84.

  • Berbrier, Mitch. “Assimilationism and Pluralism as Cultural Tools.” Sociological Forum 19:29-62.

  • Berbrier, Mitch. “Why are there so many ‘minorities?’” Contexts. Spring 2004. 3:1

  • erbrier, Mitch. “Making Minorities: Cultural Space and the Categorical Status Claims of Gay, Deaf, and White Supremacist Activists in Late 20th Century America.” Sociological Forum 17:553-591.

  • erbrier, Mitch. “Disempowering Minorities: A Critique of Wilkinson’s ‘Task for Social Scientists and Practitioners.’” Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. 29:3-19.