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Lukas Szrot

Dr. Lukas Szrot Assistant Professor of Sociology


I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but moved to Arlington, Texas when my mother, a machinist, and my father, a mechanic were forced to look for work during an economic downturn. I did well in school until adolescence, when my grades began to suffer, and it was partly luck and partly the prodding of family that led me to start school at the University of Texas at Arlington in May of 2000. I still remember the look of horror on my dad’s face when I told him that after high school I planned to be a busker, playing my guitar on the side of the road for spare change.

College was a joy after I got used to it, and I majored in philosophy, completing my degree in 2004. Though I had always planned to go to grad school I took a “year off” from school which turned into almost a decade. During that time I earned a living managing a cafe, working as a fluid power contractor, driving a forklift, managing a live music venue, performing as a gigging musician–and also a bit of busking. Life can be funny that way.

I returned to college in 2013, and after completing some remedial course work, was accepted into the graduate program in sociology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Through perseverance, a lot of good mentorship, and more than a little luck, I became a graduate teaching assistant in 2014, completed my sociology M.A. in 2015, and was accepted into the PhD program at the University of Kansas with funding in 2015. I completed and defended my dissertation in the spring of 2019 and accepted a position as assistant professor of sociology at Bemidji State University.

Long-standing interests in religion and environmental issues led me to a dissertation project, and recently, a book, on historical trends in environmental concern among religious groups in the U.S. I have wanted to be a writer since I was seven years old, when I began writing short stories longhand with a pencil in those lined spiral-bound notebooks. But through my graduate education, and especially here at Bemidji State, I have discovered how rewarding teaching can be, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the BSU community, where I hope to draw on past experiences and interests to contribute to Bemidji State University’s mission, vision, shared fundamental values, and dimensions of student learning.


2019: Ph.D., Sociology, The University of Kansas

2015: M.A., Sociology, The University of Texas at Arlington

2004: B.A., Philosophy, The University of Texas at Arlington


Fall 2021 (Current):

SOC2200: Social Movements & Change (in-person) [syllabus coming soon]

SOC2200: Social Movements & Change (online) [syllabus coming soon]

SOC3320: Social Class & Inequality (in-person) [syllabus coming soon]

SOC3320: Social Class & Inequality (online) [syllabus coming soon]

Spring 2022 (Tentative):

SOC3001: Social Statistics (in-person) [syllabus coming soon]

SOC3003: Research Methods (in-person) [syllabus coming soon]

SOC3010: Social Explorations (in-person) [syllabus coming soon]

Previous Courses Taught, Information and Syllabi will be forthcoming.

Research Interests

Broadly, I study the relationships between societies and nature. This has meant studying at the intersections of culture and the environment. It has also meant learning how human beings perceive risk; and respond to, or co-create, “natural” hazards. It has also meant addressing perceptions of the “natural” in terms of understanding human abilities, capacities, and limitations in social settings.

More specifically, my interests have led me into the sociological sub-fields of theory, quantitative methodology, environmental sociology, cultural sociology, sociology of religion, social class and inequality, sociology of education, sociology of gender, social psychology, and more.

Recent Work

Though religion, environment, theory, culture, and statistics are my primary areas of interest, I have written on topics ranging from science education to terrorism to Shakespeare. I love to write, am happy to talk about my research, and usually have my eyes open for new projects (though I also have a lot of irons in the fire!). Please email me if you’re interested in learning more about any of these projects or publications.

I also have a new blog, where I post at least once a month:

  • 2021
    • Book: Faiths in Green: Religious Change and Environmental Concern in the United States. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
    • Article: “Who Cares about the Environment: Accounting for Differences in Environmental Concern, Religious Groups and Birth Cohorts.” Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences 8(1):42-59.
    • Book Chapter: Rucha Ambikar, Lukas Szrot, Colleen Greer, and Debra Peterson. “A Curriculum for Compassion,” Leading the Transformation of Higher Education through Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion. IGI Global, pp. 198-217.
    • Article: “Democracy, Risk, and Return to Industry.” Fast Capitalism (accepted, forthcoming).
    • Article: Lukas Szrot and Brock Ternes, “Dominion Over Nature and Climate Change Concerns: Religious Ontologies and Ambivalence in Drought-Prone Regions.” (revisions underway).
    • Article: Lukas Szrot and Matthew Comi, “Sociology and Relational Environmental Values: Constructive Tensions between Environmental Humanism and Post-Humanism” (manuscript in process).
    • Article: Katie Peterson and Lukas Szrot, “Science, Affect, and the Salience of Gender: A Mixed-Methods, Intervention-Based Study of Middle-School Students.” (manuscript in process).
  • 2020
    • Article: “From Stewardship to Creation Spirituality: The Evolving Ecological Ethos of Catholic Doctrine.” Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture 14(2):226-49
    • Invited Book Chapter: Paul V. Stock and Lukas Szrot. “Justice.” Handbook of Sustainable and Regenerative Food Systems. Edited by Jessica Duncan, Michael Carolan, and Han Wiskerke. New York: Earthscan by Routledge, pp. 98-112.
    • Magazine Article: “From the Middle: Sites of Culture, Cooperation, and Trust in Risk Society.” This View of Life: A Publication of the Evolution Society
    • Poster: Peterson, Katie L. and Lukas Szrot, “Curriculum-enhancing outreach: Can it increase eighth graders’ attitudes toward science?” National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Virtual, Aug 17-20, 2020, (CHED 1692).
  • 2019
    • Invited Article. “Hamlet’s Father: Hauntology and the Roots of the Modern Self.” Fast Capitalism special issue: 2017 Symposium for New Directions in Critical Social Theory 16(2):87-97
    • Invited Book Chapter: 2019. “Social Theory as Public Sociology: Ben Agger, 1952-2015.” Forgotten Founders and Other Neglected Theorists. Edited by Christopher T. Conner, Nicholas M. Baxter, and David R. Dickens. Lanham: Lexington Books.
    • Article: Lukas Szrot and Nathan R. Collins. 2019. “‘Social Cocoons,’ Revisited: Examining the Correlates of Strict Religiosity via Encapsulation Theory.” Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 6(4):219-30.
    • Editor’s Introduction: “The Promise and Pitfalls of Public Sociology.” Social Thought and Research, 35(1):7-11.
  • 2018
    • Article: “Of (Auto)biography and Social Theory: A Perspective on the Life and Work of Ben Agger (1952-2015).” 2018. Fast Capitalism, 1
    • Article: “Lynn White, Reconsidered: Religiosity and Environmental Concern in the United States.” Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences, 6(1): 55-69.
  • 2014-2017 (Telos Global Internship)