Michael Gibson-Light

About Michael Gibson-Light

Michael is a PhD candidate at the University of Arizona. He received his MA in sociology from the University of Arizona and BA in sociology from the University of Missouri - Saint Louis. He is an ethnographer with particular interest in punishment & incarceration, work & occupations, inequality, culture, and economic sociology. Michael's dissertation examines the role of the internal workings of the prison in reproducing social inequalities. In particular, it investigates the how structures and practices surrounding penal labor act to reflect and aggravate barriers between prisoner groups along the lines of race, ethnicity, and class.

Michael's research has been covered by The Guardian, BBC, NPR, Time, The Atlantic, USA Today, US News & World Report, Harpers, Vice, and 100s of other outlets internationally. He has received awards from the American Sociological Association's Section on Sociological Practice and Public Sociology, as well as from the American Society of Criminology Division on Critical Criminology and Social Justice, the Division on Corrections and Sentencing, and the Division on International Criminology.

View Michael's personal website here.

Areas of Study

  • Punishment & Incarceration
  • Work
  • Culture
  • Inequality
  • Economic Sociology
  • Critical Criminology
  • Qualitative Methods
Michael Gibson-Light's picture

Contact Information

Michael Gibson-Light
Doctoral Candidate

Dissertation Title

Capital & Punishment: How Prison Labor Systems Reproduce Inequality

Courses Taught

  • Criminology
  • Explaining Deviance
  • Sociology of Popular Culture
  • Introduction to Sociology