Assistant Professor, Sociology


Ph.D. Sociology, UC Irvine, 2013 
M.A. Social Science, UC Irvine, 2007 
M.Phil Sociology, University of Cambridge, UK, 2005 
B.A. Global Studies, UC Santa Barbara, 2003 


Elizabeth Sowers is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Program at CSU Channel Islands. Prior to coming to CI, Elizabeth earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Irvine (2013); a M.A. in Social Sciences from UC Irvine (2007); a M.Phil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge, UK (2005); and a B.A. in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara (2003). 

Elizabeth's research interests are in the areas of work, globalization, and economic sociology, with a specific focus on investigating working conditions within the logistics, or goods movement, industry. Generous support for Elizabeth's research has been provided by the John Randolph Haynes Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, Elizabeth published articles and book chapters on critical nodes in capitalist commodity chains, intimacy & economy, globalization & development, global economic networks, and work & neoliberal globalization, as well as a book, Economy and State: A Sociological Perspective (with Nina Bandelj).

Elizabeth teaches a range of courses across the Sociology curriculum, including core classes (Introduction to Sociology, Theory, Capstone) as well as classes in her areas of specialty.  She oversees the Sociology honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta, in addition to serving as the Faculty  Advisor for Sociology students.  She enjoys meeting with students throughout their time at CI to help them pick classes and plan for future careers.

Elizabeth lives in Camarillo with her husband and their zoo of animals, which currently includes a 70 pound Siberian Husky and three strikingly beautiful cats.

Representative Courses Taught 

  • SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 350: Social Stratification
  • SOC 331 Narratives of the Working Class
  • SOC 416 Money, Work, and Social Life: The Economy
  • SOC 311 Classical Sociological Theory
  • SOC 315 Contemporary Sociological Theory
  • SOC 448 Globalization & Development
  • SOC 499 Capstone

Select Publications



  • Bandelj, Nina and Elizabeth Sowers. Forthcoming, 2016. "Globalization and Development." Pp. 553-76 in Sociology of Development Handbook, edited by Gregory Hooks. Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.​- Link Coming Soon
  • Elizabeth Sowers, Paul S. Ciccantell, and David A. Smith. 2014. “Comparing Critical Capitalist Commodity Chains in the Early Twenty-first Century: Opportunities for and Constraints on Labor and Political Movements.” Journal of World-Systems Research 20(1): 112-139.



Globalization, Economic Sociology, Work, Labor Movements, Social Inequality, Logistics Industry.