Christopher Uggen

Distinguished McKnight Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota

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About Christopher

Uggen studies crime, law, and deviance, and is best known for two lines of research: (1) employment and crime; and (2) felon voting restrictions. Uggen’s research interests include punishment and reentry, harassment and discrimination, citizenship and exclusion, and, most recently, health inequalities. With Doug Hartmann, he edits and publishes The Society Pages, which aims to bring social science to broader public visibility and influence. Uggen also does legislative testimony and expert witness work on justice issues, and has served on the Minnesota Department of Corrections Human Subjects Committee.


In the News

Christopher Uggen quoted on consequences of disenfranchisement laws by Nicole Lewis, Aviva Shen, and Anna Flagg, "What 8,000 Prisoners Think About American Politics" Slate, March 11, 2020.
Christopher Uggen's research on felon disenfranchisement discussed by Sam Levine, "Florida Officially Changes Jim Crow-Rooted Felon Disenfranchisement Policy," Huffington Post, January 8, 2019.
Christopher Uggen quoted on felon disenfranchisement by Leon Neyfakh, "Why Can’t Ex-Cons Vote?" Slate, March 17, 2015.
Christopher Uggen quoted on the crippling effect criminal background checks can have on former prisoners by Binyamin Applebaum, "Out of Trouble, but Criminal Records Keep Men out of Work" New York Times, February 28, 2015.
Christopher Uggen quoted on the U.S. crime and incarceration rate by Eric Black, "U.S. Out of Line among Developed Nations in Portion of Population Imprisoned" MinnPost, December 11, 2014.
Christopher Uggen quoted on criminal justice reform by Logan Wroge, "Experts, Officials Consider Criminal Policy Reform" Minnesota Daily, December 9, 2014.
Christopher Uggen's research on voter disenfranchisement discussed by Brent Staples, "The Racist Origins of Felon Disenfranchisement," New York Times, November 18, 2014.
"A Free Subscription for Nicholas Kristof," Christopher Uggen, The Society Pages, February 17, 2014.
Christopher Uggen quoted on public attitudes toward felon disenfranchisement, "Disenfranchised Felons" New York Times, July 15, 2012.
"Law Enforcement Death Rate Falling, Not Rising," Christopher Uggen, Minnpost, May 14, 2010.
"The Link between Education and Police Use of Force," Christopher Uggen, Minnpost, April 28, 2010.
"Who are the Outlaws? A Freakonomics Quorum," Christopher Uggen, New York Times Online, October 16, 2008.
"The President Is Right: Ex-Felons Need Aid," Christopher Uggen (with Jeff Manza), Newsday, February 5, 2004.
"They've Paid Their Debt; Let Them Vote," Christopher Uggen (with Jeff Manza), Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2003.


Assigned: Life with Gender (with Lisa Wade and Doug Hartmann) (W.W. Norton & Co., 2017).

Introduces students to the social science of gender through highlighting new and emerging work. Concludes with a discussion guide and group activities section that challenges readers to draw connections between the chapters, think more deeply and critically about culture and social life, and link to ongoing conversations and interactive posts online.

"Employment and Exile: U.S. Criminal Deportations, 1908-2005" (with Ryan King and Michael Massoglia). American Journal of Sociology 118, no. 5 (2012).
Explains how rates of criminal deportation fluctuate with the unemployment rate.
"Incarceration and the Health of the African American Community" (with Jason Schnittker and Michael Massoglia). Du Bois Review 8, no. 1 (2011): 133–41.
Introduces a larger project on how prison affects health, particularly in communities of color.
"Incarceration and Stratification" (with Sara Wakefield). Annual Review of Sociology 36 (2010): 387-346.
Considers how criminal punishment affects inequality in work, family, and community life.
"Citizenship, Democracy, and the Civic Reintegration of Criminal Offenders" (with Jeff Manza and Melissa Thompson). Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 605, no. 1 (2006): 281-310.
Estimates the number of former prisoners and former felons in the United States.
Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy (with Jeff Manza) (Oxford University Press, 2006).
Examines the history, scope, impact, and meaning of felon voting restrictions on convicted criminals.
"Public Attitudes toward Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States" (with Jeff Manza and Clem Brooks). Public Opinion Quarterly 68, no. 2 (2004): 275-286.
Finds that a majority of Americans favors restoring voting rights to former felons who have completed their sentences – even for those who served time for highly stigmatizing offenses; that these majorities are much stronger for less stigmatizing crimes; and that high proportions of Americans favor voting rights for probationers who are currently serving their sentences in their communities, as well as for former prisoners serving time on parole.