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Department of Sociology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Barry Markovsky

Title: Professor
Department: Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-3123
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Barry Markovsky


Professor Markovsky came to USC Sociology in 2001 as Department Chair and served through 2008. Previously he was at the University of Iowa from 1983-2001 where he was Assistant, Associate and Full Professor. He has served as Sociology Program Director at the National Science Foundation, and visiting professor at Stanford University, University of Skövde (Sweden), University of Zurich, and Philipps-Universität Marburg (Germany). He has been an NIMH Fellow and was an National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at Stanford University where he received his Ph.D. in 1983. He has served on the editorial boards of Social Justice Research, Computational Social & Organizational Science, American Journal of Sociology and Social Forces. He has also been Deputy Editor of Social Psychology Quarterly, Associate Editor of Current Research in Social Psychology, Co-editor of Advances in Group Processes, and Associate Editor of Social Justice Research. He is an electee to the Sociological Research Association and (like Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Colin Firth and Stephen Hawking) has an Erdős-Bacon number of 6.


Substantive research interests: social factors affecting …. influence, status, power, justice, identity, judgment, perception; social networks; methods for theory construction; web-based tools for theory building.

Department cluster: social psychology

Research overview: At USC, he has investigated status, power and perceptions in social exchange networks, fairness in the provision of public goods, ingroup/outgroup identities and status, and crowd-sourcing the development of sociological theory  

Current projects: Prof. Markovsky is developing the website (with support from the National Science Foundation) which offers tools to aid in building, enhancing, integrating and disseminating sociological theories.


Recent course topics include introductory sociology, sociology of the paranormal, theory construction and analysis, advanced topics in social psychology, critical thinking

Selected Publications

In press in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition: “Theory”; “Theory and Methods”; “Theory Construction” (B. Markovsky & M. Webster); “Micro-macro theory” (B. Markovsky & J. Turner).

Forthcoming in Advances in Group Processes: “Identity Theory: Analysis & Reconstruction” (B. Markovsky & J. Frederick).

2017  “Social Justice Through Multidisciplinary Lenses.” Social Justice Research 30:106-16.

2016  (C. Barnum, J. McLeer, B. Markovsky) “Status Characteristics and Self-Categorization: A Bridge Across Theoretical Traditions.” Current Research in Social Psychology 24(5):49-58.

2015  (B. Markovsky & J. Frederick) “Mysticism.” In R.A. Scott (ed.), Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Wiley.

2012  (B. Markovsky and A. Kazemi) “Formalizing Foa’s social resource theory of exchange.” In K. Törnblom and A. Kazemi (eds.), Handbook of Social Resource Theory. Springer Publishing.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.