Liam Downey
Associate Professor

Office: Fleming 109

Affiliated Departments

Institute of Behavioral Science


Research Interests

Environmental sociology, environmental inequality, race and ethnic relations, urban sociology, stratification/inequality, political sociology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


Ph.D. 2000 University of Arizona


My primary sociological interests revolve around race and class inequality in the political, environmental, and economic realms. My research agenda is more focused, but follows logically from these interests. For example, I am currently studying environmental inequality in metropolitan America, the mental and physical health impacts of residential proximity to polluting manufacturing facilities, and the impact that residential segregation has on residential proximity to manufacturing jobs and pollution. I am also conducting research that seeks to discover whether female-headed families are more likely than male-headed families and married couple families to live near polluting manufacturing facilities.In addition to conducting research in these areas, I have devoted considerable energy to demonstrating the potentially important role Geographic Information Systems (GIS), or mapping software, can play in advancing sociological thinking and research. I am also conducting a new research project that examines the relationship between economic inequality, democracy, and environmental degradation at the national and global levels.