Michael Gibson-Light

About Michael Gibson-Light

Michael is a PhD student at the University of Arizona in the School of Sociology. He received his MA in sociology from the University of Arizona and BA in sociology from the University of Missouri - Saint Louis. Michael is an ethnographer with particular interest in criminology & punishment, work & occupations, culture, and economic sociology.

His research focuses on various intersections of punishment, work, culture, and economic fields. Current projects explore (1) the form and function of inmate labor in carceral institutions, (2) categorization and boundaries in worlds of work, (3) the ways culture workers mobilize distinction in--and navigate--saturated competitive fields, and (4) the presentation and manipulation of status in fields of production.

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.

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 and Punishment: How Prison Labor Systems Reproduce Inequality

Courses Taught

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