Kelly Bergstrand

About Kelly Bergstrand

Kelly Bergstrand is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Arizona and specializes in social movements, environmental sociology, and social psychology. Her research centers on whether some types of social or environmental problems are inherently more powerful in attracting resources and public support, which has the real world implications of potentially identifying which grievances will be addressed and which might be ignored. Her dissertation draws on concepts from Affect Control Theory, as well as literature on morality and justice, to develop general theory about how perceptions of the goodness or badness of perpetrators, actions and victims affect public opinion and activism; she tests and finds support for her hypotheses using a vignette experiment. Her recent article in Mobilization reports earlier research on the power of grievances that finds losses (as opposed to gains) and direct acts by perpetrators (rather than acts of omission) are more likely to motivate public support and interest in activism. Co-authored papers in environmental sociology include assessing the effectiveness of policies to curb greenhouse gases from power plants and examining how the BP compensation process after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to deteriorating community relations. In addition to her areas of specialization, she can also teach qualitative and quantitative research methods. She has taken ten graduate courses pertaining to quantitative or qualitative methods and statistics and has used multiple methods (e.g. surveys, experiments, ethnography) and modes of analysis in her research.

Selected Publications

Mayer, Brian, Katrina Running and Kelly Bergstrand. Forthcoming. “Compensation and Community Corrosion: Perceived Inequalities, Social Comparisons, and Competition Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.” Sociological Forum 30(2).

Bergstrand, Kelly. 2014. “The Mobilizing Power of Grievances: Applying Loss Aversion and Omission Bias to Social Movements.” Mobilization: An International Journal 19(2):123-142.

Bergstrand, Kelly. 2014. “Cognitive Shocks: Scientific Discovery and Mobilization.” Science as Culture 23(3): 320-343. 

Bergstrand, Kelly, Brian Mayer, Babette Brumback and Yi Zhang. 2014. “Assessing the Relationship Between Social Vulnerability and Community Resilience to Hazards.” Social Indicators Research. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-014-0698-3

Grant, Don, Kelly Bergstrand and Katrina Running. 2014. “Effectiveness of U.S. State policies in reducing CO2 emissions from power plants.” Nature Climate Change 4(11): 977-982.

Grant, Don, Katrina Running, Kelly Bergstrand and Richard York. 2014. “Energy Efficiency, Carbon Pollution, and Rebound Effects: The Case of U.S. Power Plants.” Energy Policy 75: 398-402.

Mayer, Brian, Kelly Bergstrand and Katrina Running. 2014. “Science as Comfort: The Strategic Use of Science in Post-Disaster Settings.” Pp. 419-433 in Routledge Handbook of Science, Technology, and Society edited by Daniel Lee Kleinman and Kelly Moore. New York: Routledge.

Bergstrand, Kelly and Scott V. Savage. 2013. “The Chalkboard Versus The Avatar: Comparing the Effectiveness of Online and In-Class Courses.” Teaching Sociology 41(3): 294-306(Equal Co-authors)

Beyerlein, Kraig and Kelly Bergstrand. 2013. “Biographical Availability.” Entry in The Wiley- Blackwell Encyclopedia of  Social and Political Movements edited by David A. Snow, Donatella Della Porta, Bert Klandermans, and Doug  McAdam. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. (Equal Co-authors)

Savage, Scott V. and Kelly Bergstrand. 2013. “Negotiating the Unknown: The Role of Uncertainty in Social Exchange.” Sociology Compass 7(4): 315-327. (Equal Co-authors)

Savage, Scott V., Samantha Kwan and Kelly Bergstrand. 2014. “Virtual Health: The Impact of Health-Related Websites on Patient-Doctor Interactions.” Research in the Sociology of Health Care 32: 91-115.

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Contact Information

Kelly Bergstrand
Office: Soc Sci 436