Professor Image of WILLIAM G ROY



Ph. D., University of Michigan

Work Phone:
Mailing Address:
UCLA Department of Sociology
264 Haines Hall, Box 951551
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1551


Comparative/Historical Sociology, Political Sociology, Economy and Society, Sociology of Music

Research Interests

Corporate growth and state formation, political sociology, comparative-historical methods, social construction of reality, sociology of culture, sociology of music. 

My current research is on how musical genres work as social categories.  Surveying the history of commercial popular music in the 20th century, I am constructing an account of how a broad variety of factors, including technology, markets, allied fields (radio, cinema, etc.), institutional processes, culture, and the social composition of society shaped the genre system.  The particular historical focus is the rise and decline of a musical main stream in mid-century.

Personal Research: 

Bill Roy's Geneology Page 

Courses Taught:

Sociology 1:  Introduction to Sociology

Sociology 19: Fiat Lux 

Sociology 183: Comparative-Historical Sociology 

Sociology 202: Theory and Research in Sociology 

Sociology 211: Comparative and Historical Methods 

Useful Links: 

Internet Techniques in the Social Sciences 

American Sociological Association

Selected Publications

Reds, Whites, and Blues: Social Movements, Folk Music, and Race in the United States. Princeton University Press,  2010. 

"What is Sociological About Music?" (with Timothy J. Dowd), Annual Review of Sociology.  2010.

“How Social Movements Do Culture,” The International Journal of Political and Cultural Sociology. 23 (2010): 85-98. 2010.

"'Race records' and 'hillbilly music': institutional origins of racial categories in the American commercial recording industry." Poetics. 2004. 

Making Societies: The Historical Construction of the World We Live In. Pine Forge Press, 2001 

“How Many Logics of Collective Action?”” (with Rachel Parker-Gwin), Theory and Society. 1999. 

Socializing Capital: The Rise of the Large Industrial Corporation in America, Princeton University Press, 1997.


UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, 1989. 

American Sociological Association, Distinguished Contribution to Teaching, 1999. 
Socializing Capital: The Rise of the Large Industrial Corporation in America named by Choice as an "Outstanding Academic Book of 1997."

Charles Tilly Award for the Best Book on Collective Behavior and Social Movements, by the Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section of the ASA, 2011.

Research Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 2011-12.