Professor and Chair
312B Middlebush

PhD 1999, Rutgers University

Areas of Study

Culture and Cognition, Sociology of Identity, Sociological Theory, Sexualities

Research and Teaching

Wayne Brekhus primarily teaches large introduction to sociology courses. His research interests include conceptually analyzing how socio-culturally influenced cognitive processes and practices of attention and inattention, meaning-making, and identity construction shape perceptions of social reality and contribute to social difference and social inequalities.  


Awards and Honors

Sapienza Universita di Roma, Visiting Professor-Research, March 2019

Jake O. and Irma B. Mathes Chair in Sociology, Fall 2017

Writing Intensive Teaching Excellence Award, University of Missouri, 2015.

Outstanding Advising Award-Faculty Academic Advising Certificate of Merit (national award given by the National Academic Advising Association) 2010.

Outstanding Advisor, (statewide award awarded to one advisor in Missouri by the Missouri Academic Advising Association) 2009.

Excellence in Advising Award, University of Missouri 2009.

William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, University of Missouri, 2008.

Excellence in Education Award, University of Missouri, 2005.

Purple Chalk Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri, 2002.

Select Publications


Brekhus, Wayne H. Thomas DeGloma, and William Ryan Force. 2024 (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Symbolic Interactionism. New York: Oxford University Press.  

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2020. The Sociology of Identity: Authenticity, Multidimensionality, and Mobility. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Brekhus, Wayne H. and Gabe Ignatow (eds.). 2019. The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2018. Sociologia dell’inavvertito. (Sociology of the Inadvertent) translated by Lorenzo Sabetta with a foreward by Lorenzo Sabetta. Rome: Castelvecchi

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2015. Culture and Cognition: Patterns in the Social Construction of Reality. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Galliher, John F, Wayne H. Brekhus and David P. Keys. 2004. Laud Humphreys: Prophet of Homosexuality and Sociology. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2003. Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.


Brekhus, Wayne H. and Gabe Ignatow. 2019. “Cognitive Sociology and the Cultural Mind: Debates, Directions, and Challenges.” Pp. 1-27 in Wayne H. Brekhus and Gabe Ignatow (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2012. “Gay Commuters, Gay Integrators: Gay Suburban Identity Strategies in the Post-Closeted Era” in C. Rinaldi (ed.) Introduzione Alle Sociologie Dell Omosessualita. Milan: MImesis.

Brekhus, Wayne H., David Brunsma, Todd Platts and Priya Dua. 2010. “On the Contributions of Cognitive Sociology to the Sociological Study of Race” Sociology Compass 4: 61-76.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2008. “Trends in the Qualitative Study of Social Identities” Sociology Compass 2/3: 1059-1078.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2007. “The Rutgers School: A Zerubavelian Culturalist Cognitive Sociology” European Journal of Social Theory 10(3): 448-464.

Brekhus, Wayne H, John F. Galliher, and Jaber F. Gubrium. 2005. “The Need for Thin Description.” Qualitative Inquiry 11(6): 861-879.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2005. “Une sociologie de l’ invisibilite’: reorienter notre regard” Reseaux: Communication, Technologie, Societe 23:243-272. (republication of 1998 Sociological Theory article in French Communications Journal).

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2004. “Commuting to Homosexuality: Laud Humphreys’ Unheralded Contribution to the Sociology of Identity.” International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 24(3-5):58-72.

Brekhus, Wayne H., Keith L. Brekhus and John F. Galliher. 2001. “Social Problems in Social Problems: The Theory and Method of Justice.” Social Problems 48(1):137-143.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 2000. “A Mundane Manifesto.” Journal of Mundane Behavior 1(1):89-105.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 1998. "A Sociology of the Unmarked: Redirecting Our Focus." Sociological Theory 16(1):34-51.

Brekhus, Wayne H. 1996. "Social Marking and the Mental Coloring of Identity: Sexual Identity Construction and Maintenance in the United States." Sociological Forum 11(3):497-522.