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Dr. Michael Lawrence Walker

Sociologist | Social Justice Advocate

Selected Lecture Topics

  • Race, Punishment, and Exceptionalism
  • Jail and Sleep Hygiene
  • Jail Management through Race Relations
  • Mental Health and Incarceration
Dr. Michael Lawrence Walker is the Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. His broad research concerns stratification, social control, punishment, and social psychology, which he translates into studies of race relations, carceral patterns, inequality, identities, emotions, and time. Dr. Walker is the author of Indefinite: Doing Time in Jail, which won the 2022 Charles H. Cooley Award for Best Recent Book from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. Indefinite is a transformative ethnography of social life in a modern county jail. Conducted while Dr. Walker, himself, was incarcerated, Indefinite presents a visceral examination of the emotional landscape of penal living from the viewpoint of those locked away. Dr. Walker is also the recipient of the American Society of Criminology’s 2018 Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award for his paper, “Race Making in a Penal Institution,” published in the American Journal of Sociology.
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