UB CDI Distinguished Visiting Scholar

John Major Eason

John Major Eason, Ph.D.

John Major Eason, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • PhD, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago
  • MPP, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago
  • BA, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Notable Awards

  • Society for the Study of Social Problems, C. Wright Mills Best Book Award Finalist 2017 for Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation
  • Crime and Justice Summer Research Institute Fellow: Broadening Perspectives and Participation, The Ohio State University, Crime and Justice Research Center
  • Rural Sociological Society Early Career Research Award

John Major Eason is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before entering graduate school, he was a church-based community organizer focusing on housing and criminal justice issues. He also served as a political organizer for then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. His research interest challenges existing models and develops new theories of community, health, race, punishment, and rural/urban processes in several ways. By tracing the emergence of the rural ghetto he establishes a new conceptual model of rural neighborhoods. These relationships are explored through his book, Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation,  at the University of Chicago Press. He is also investigating health outcomes in immigrant detention centers.  He uses multi-method, multi-level approaches in empirical investigations ranging from imprisonment, prisoner reentry, murder, healthcare access, and health disparities across the rural-urban continuum.

Areas of Interest/Special Expertise

Crime; ethnography; health disparities; mixed-methods; punishment; race; rural; urban; computer science; geography; public health; mapping.