Bruce Western

Bruce Western

Research Interest

Bruce Western is Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Justice Lab at Columbia University. He received his BA from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Western's research examines trends in American economic inequality and the growth of the US penal population. These topics are joined by an interest in the shifting landscape of American poverty over the last 40 years. He is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America (2007) and served as Vice-Chair of a consensus panel of the National Academy of Sciences on the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in the United States. His new book is called Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison (2018).  Western is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Radcliffe Fellow, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the National Academies of Science.