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Charlotte Ryan

Charlotte Ryan
Charlotte RyanAssociate Professor
  • College
    College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department
  • Phone
    (978) 934-4310
  • Email

Research Interests

Community-based participatory research; social movements and communication; environmental and climate sociology; and public sociology

Recent research projects have focused on how unions, domestic violence groups and community-based organizations integrate strategic communications into broader change strategies.


  • Ph D: Sociology, (1992), Boston College - Boston, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Prime Time Activism: Media Strategies of Grassroots Social Movements
  • Other: Bilingual Education, (1981), Boston University, School of Education - Boston, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: "African-American History Curriculum for Asian Students of English as a Second Language"
  • BA: History, (1971), Harvard University - Cambridge, MA

Selected Publications

  • Ryan, C. (2016) "A Bridge Is Not Just a Metaphor: Building Sustainable Community-University Partnerships through Service Learning Projects", Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems pp. 121
  • Ryan, C., Brown, K.F. (2015) "To act in concert : environmental communication from a social movement lens", Routledge pp. 114
  • Ryan, C., Jeffreys, K., Ryczek, J., Diaz, J. (2014) "Building Public Will: The Battle for Affordable—and Supportive—Housing.", Journal of Poverty 18:3 pp. 335 - 354
  • Ryan, C. (2014) "A Bridge is not Just a Metaphor: Building Sustainable Community-university Partnerships through Service Learning Projects", Ashgate
  • Ryan, C., Anastario, M., Dacunha, A. (2006) "Changing coverage of domestic violence murders: A longitudinal experiment in participatory communication", Journal of Interpersonal Violence 21:2 pp. 209-228
  • Alimi, E.Y., Gamson, W.A., Ryan, C. (2006) "Knowing your adversary: Israeli structure of political opportunity and the inception of the Palestinian Intifada", Sociological Forum 21:4 pp. 535-557
  • Ryan, C., Anastario, M., Jeffreys, K. (2005) "Start small, build big: Negotiating opportunities in media markets", Mobilization 10:1 pp. 111-128
  • Ryan, C. (2004) "It takes a movement to raise an issue: Media lessons from the 1997 U.P.S. strike", Critical Sociology 30:2 pp. 483-511
  • Burawoy, M., Gamson, W., Ryan, C., Pfohl, S., Vaughan, D., Derber, C., Schor, J. (2004) "Public Sociologies: A Symposium from Boston College", Social problems 51:1 pp. 103-130
  • Ryan, C., Carragee, K.M., Meinhofer, W. (2001) "Theory into practice: Framing, the news media, and collective action", Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media 45:1 pp. 175-182
  • Ryan, C., Carragee, K.M., Schwerner, C. (1998) "Media, movements, and the quest for social justice", Journal of Applied Communication Research 26:2 pp. 165-181

Selected Presentations

  • Six Faces of Empowerment - Fall board meeting, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, 2011
  • Framing Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for Advocacy and Mobilization: Toward a Strategic Agenda in the U.S.", November 2011 - Boston, MA
  • A Bridge Is Not A Metaphor. - Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting thematic panel on Service Sociology, August 2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Ten Steps to Empowering Networks - New England Non-Profit Conference, April 2011 - The Non-Profit Center, Boston, MA
  • Framing Obesity, February 2011 - Suffolk University, Boston, MA.
  • Challenging Domestic Violence: Trickle up Theorizing. - National Communication Association Annual Meeting, November 2010 - San Francisco, CA
  • "The Invisible Elbow and the Invisible Cold Shoulder: A Fractal Perspective on Public Sociology, October 2010 - School of Health and Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • When Aid Goes Awry, March 2010 - School of Health and Environment University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • The Invisible Elbow and the Invisible Cold Shoulder: A Fractal Perspective on Public Sociology, January 2009 - Boston College, Boston Massachusetts
  • Practice-driven Research Networks - Organizational Studies Group, 2008 - Sloan School of Management; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Social Knowledge, Theses on Feuerbach and Community-University Partnerships - Association for Humanist Sociology Annual Meeting, November 2008
  • - Colloquia on Post-terrorism, November 2008
  • Power Play and Collaborative Theory. - Collective Behavior and Social Movement Section, August 2008 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Collaborative Research on Economic Justice - Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, August 2008 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Collaborative Research on Immigration - Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, July 2008 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • - Taller Vida Digna, Colectivo Flatlander, April 2008 - Austin, TX
  • "Framing Poverty in Rhode Island, January 2008
  • Agents of Change in Communication Modeling, November 2007 - Chicago, IL
  • Who are these People: Implied and Under-recognized Internet Audiences. - First International Conference on Multi-Media and New Audiences, November 2007 - Mexico City, Mexico
  • Social Movements and Public Relations? - Collective Behavior and Social Movement Section Pre-conference, August 2007 - Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • Bridging the Academic-Activist Divide - Collective Behavior and Social Movement Section, Thematic Session, August 2007 - New York City, NY
  • Framing Organizing - National Organizers Retreat, July 2007
  • Framing Justice, June 2007
  • , June 2007
  • Promises and Perils of Partnering. - International Conference on Community-University Partnerships, April 2007 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Collaborative Learning from the Field, March 2007 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • On Becoming an Embedded Intellectual - Graduate Women's Gender Studies Conference, March 2007 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard, MA
  • Comparative Models of Participatory Communication., November 2006 - San Antonio, TX
  • Linking Communications to Talking Politics - Progressive Communicators Conference, November 2006 - Boston, MA
  • Story-Telling and Making History, August 2006 - Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Environmental Law's Path through the Fourth Estate: Environmental Law and the Media., October 2005 - Boston College Law School, Newton, Massachusetts

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Communities Creating Healthy Environments (2008), -
    Ryan, C. (Principal)
  • Communities Creating Healthy Environments, Praxis Project and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Youth Obesity Initiative) (2008), -
    Ryan, C.
  • Healey Public Service Grant (2007), Grant -
    Ryan, C.
  • ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline (2002), - American Sociological Association
    Ryan, C.