Victoria Johnson
Professor Emeritus

Ph.D. 1996, University of California, Davis

(Designated Emphasis in Social Theory and Comparative History)

Areas of Study

Collective Behavior and Social Movements, Cultural Sociology, Historical and Comparative Methods, Political Sociology, Theory, Sociology of Media, Animal and Society studies

Research and Teaching

My research is characterized by the empirical analysis of power relations, culture, and economic and political organizations. Specifically, through my empirical research, I explore theoretical questions about the relationship of organizational structures, cultural forms, and collective agency to protest and democratic practices. My research spans the analysis of social movements, political cultures, general strikes, media representations of war, and explanations of how beliefs about animals provide a template for the degradation of human groups. My current book project titled The Metamorphosis of General Strikes: Death and Resurrection in Great Britain, the U.S. and Canada is reflective of the above interests. I ask why we have not seen classical general strikes in the three Anglo capitalist countries of Great Britain, the U.S. and Canada since the early twentieth century  and why new forms of general/mass strikes emerged in each country some 60 to 70 years later.


  • Collective Behavior and Social Movements
  • Politics of the Media
  • Senior Capstone Seminar
  • Historical Methods Graduate Seminar
  • Classical Social Theory Graduate Seminar
  • Power and Media in Comparative Perspective Graduate Seminar

Awards and Honors: 

Courtesy appointment in the School of Journalism, spring 2014.

MU Research Council Research Grant to travel to London, spring 2012.  

Invitation to present a paper at the Centre d'Histoire et de Sociologie des Gauches, Free University of Brussels, Belgium. General Strike conference, February 11-12, 2011.    

MU International Travel Fund grant to present a paper at the Free University of Brussels Belgium, winter 2011.                                                                                             

MU Excellence in Teaching Award, 2008-2009.                                                         

Kolmheim Travel Award for AAUP Chapter Activism, 2009.                                     

Roger C. Schmitz Faculty Research Grant, 1998-99, Bates College.                        

Regents Fellowship, University of California, Davis, 1993-94.                               

Graduate Research Grant, University of California, Davis, 1993 -94.

Select Publications

“Grèves générales à Seatle et à San Francisco.” 2015. In Anne Morelli et Daniel Zamora (ed.), Grève générale, rêve général. Espoir de transformation sociale, (Paris” L'harmattan)

Co-author with John Sanbonmatsu, 2014. “Animals and Society” in Expanding the “Human” in Human Rights: Toward a Sociology of Human Rights. David Brunsma, et al., eds. (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers).

“Everyday Rituals of the Master Race: Fascist Stratification and the Fluidity of ‘Animal’ Domination.”  2011. In John Sanbonmatsu (ed.) Critical Theory and Animal Liberation, ed. (Lanham: Roman and Littlefield).

“The Status of Identities: Racial Inclusion and Exclusion at West Coast Ports.” 2009.Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, Volume 8 (2):167-183.

"Changing Repertoires of Collective Action: American General Strikes 1877-1946."
2008. Research in Political Sociology, Volume 17 (fall): 101-134.

How Many Machine Guns Will It Take to Cook One Meal?: The Seattle and San Francisco General Strikes. 2008. (Seattle: University of Washington Press).

 “Assessing Media Coverage on the Necessity of Going to War: A British and American Comparison.” 2006. Peace Studies Review, Volume 2 (1): 43-59.

"The Cultural Foundation of Resources, the Resource Foundation of Political Cultures: An Explanation for the Outcomes of Two General Strikes.” 2000. Politics and Society, 28, (3) (September): 238-272.

Co-editor with Jo Freeman. Waves of Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties 1999. (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.).

"Operation Rescue, Vocabularies of Motive and Tactical Action: A Study of Movement Framing in the Practice of Quasi-nonviolence.” 1997. In Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change, ed. Kriesberg, et al., volume 20.Greenwich, CN: JAI Press.