About Jennifer Carlson, PhD

I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and Government & Public Policy at the University of Arizona, where I teach courses about guns, criminal justice, law and politics and gender.

My research examines American gun culture, policing and public law enforcement, and conservative politics. In 2015, I published the Citizen-Protectors: The Everyday Politics of Guns in an Age of Decline with Oxford University Press. This book chronicles my interviews and ethnographic work with gun carriers in Michigan in order to make sense of a massive transformation over the last few decades in how Americans relate to their guns–that is, by carrying them.

This book led to a whole set of questions about the relationship between gun politics and public law enforcement, which is why I decided to interview over six dozen police chiefs in Arizona, California and Michigan. You can read about it in my upcoming book, Policing the Second Amendment, which I plan to publish in 2020 with Princeton University Press.

In addition to my books, I’ve published articles in top generalist and specialty journals in sociology, criminology, and law and society as well as won awards from the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the American Society of Criminology. But I’m most excited about how my research has been used to challenge the existing terms of the gun debate so that we can have a better conversation about our complicated, and perplexing, relationships with firearms–as individuals and as a society.

I can be reached at jennifercarlson AT email DOT arizona DOT edu. For media inquiries, please contact me directly or reach out to Alexis Blue at the University of Arizona’s Media Relations and Communications Office at ablue AT arizona DOT edu.