Dr. Richard Simon

Assistant Professor, SOCIOLOGY Department


My name is Richard Simon. I accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Alabama in Huntsville in the Spring of 2013, and I began teaching classes at UAH in the Fall 2013 semester. I earned my BA in sociology at Oakland University (that’s Oakland County, Michigan) in 2006, and received my PhD in sociology from Pennsylvania State University in 2011. I taught sociology at Rice for the 2011-2012 academic year, and spent the 2012-2103 academic year as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Jacksonville State University (that’s Jacksonville, Alabama) before being hired by UAH. My areas of interest in sociology include: social dimensions of science and technology, gender, social theory, quantitative methods, and political sociology – particularly anarchism and social movement analysis. My research consists primarily of two programs. The first program examines the ways that gender roles shape attitudes toward science and technology. This research program largely consists of using secondary data sources, such as the Eurobarometer and the National Survey of Fertility Barriers, to generate a theory of why men and women evaluate science and technology in such different ways. The other project I am currently involved in is establishing a theoretical synthesis between anarchist political philosophy, conflict sociology, and symbolic interactionism. Because conflict sociology is the study of social inequalities, anarchism has much to offer conflict sociology because of its focus on how to dismantle social inequalities, and its philosophical justifications for why they ought to be dismantled. And symbolic interactionism has much to offer anarchist political philosophy, because of its emphasis on how hierarchical macrostructures are products of individual-level interactions.

I am convinced that being an academic is among the best jobs a person can have. Learning, teaching, and writing are deeply satisfying for me. I recognize that I have been privileged to have the opportunities that have brought me to UAH. My students can expect to be challenged in my classes: challenged by the level of literacy I expect from them, by our class discussions, and by my expectation that they learn to see the world from an unfamiliar – at times uncomfortable – point-of-view. My greatest strengths are leading class discussions and teaching critical thinking skills. Teaching and learning should be fun, interesting, and above all creative. If you are genuinely interested in sociology, and are in the classroom to learn all you possibly can, then you will love my classes.

When I’m not working, I spend almost all of my time with my wife and three children. I enjoy making my own beer, and write/play songs on my guitar. I have a sense of humor and try not to take myself too seriously. I love stand-up comedy, music, and movies, and often incorporate these into my teaching.

Dr. Richard Simon's Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, 2011
  • M.A., Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, 2007
  • B.A., Sociology, Oakland University, 2006

Classes Taught


  • American Sociological Association
  • Mid-South Sociological Association
  • History of Science Society
  • Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction
  • Society for the Social Studies of Science


  • Richard M. Simon, Katherine M. Johnson, and Jessica L. Liddell. Forthcoming. “Amount, Source, and Quality of Labor Support as Predictors of Women’s Birth Experiences.” Birth.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2016. “The Conflict Paradigm in Sociology and the Study of Social Inequality: Paradox and Possibility.” Theory in Action 9(1): 1-31.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2016. “Women’s Birth Experiences: A View from the American South.” Southern Studies 23(2): [page numbers forthcoming]
  • Richard M. Simon. 2013. “Roles or Values? Gender Differences in Opposition to Nuclear Power.” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science 3(21): 27-38.
  • Katherine M. Johnson and Richard M. Simon. 2012. “Women’s Attitudes toward Biomedical Technology for Infertility: The Case for Technological Salience.” Gender & Society 26(2): 216-238.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2012. “Gender, Knowledge, Scientific Expertise, and Attitudes toward Biotechnology: Technological Salience and the Use of Knowledge to Generate Attitudes.” Pp. 399-414 in Innovations in Biotechnology, edited by Eddy C. Agbo. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2011. “Habitus and Utopia in Science: Bourdieu, Mannheim, and the Role of Specialties in the Scientific Field.” Studies in Sociology of Science 2(1): 22-36.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2011. “Gendered Contexts: Masculinity, Knowledge, and Attitudes Toward Biotechnology.” Public Understanding of Science 20(3): 334-346.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2010. “Gender Differences in Knowledge and Attitude Toward Biotechnology.” Public Understanding of Science 19(6): 642-653.
  • Richard M. Simon. 2010. “Damning Criticism: Historical Perspectives on the Evolution/Intelligent Design Conflict. Journal of Religion and Society, Vol. 12 http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/toc/2010.html
  • Richard M. Simon and George Farkas. 2008. “Sex, Class, and Physical Science Educational Attainment: Portions Due to Achievement versus Recruitment.” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering (14)3: 269-300.