Randy Lynn, Ph.D., is a renowned expert in social issues with a doctoral degree in sociology from George Mason University. His scholarly work has been published in peer-reviewed books and journals, and featured in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He previously taught the course on Social Problems at George Mason University, and is most passionate about using his expertise to help solve the world’s biggest political, economic, and social problems. He lives with his wife and daughter in Sterling, Virginia.
Praise for Dr. Lynn’s book, The Greatest Movement in Human History
“The Greatest Movement in Human History is a down to earth guide for creating and sustaining social change. In it, Dr. Lynn skillfully cuts through the rhetoric of political debate and examines the core issues of contemporary society that often serve to divide—but more importantly, can be used to unite us.”
—Robert O. Keel, Teaching Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Gerontology, and Gender, University of Missouri-St. Louis
“Insightful and honest, this no-nonsense guide to tackling some of our biggest social problems is exactly what we need right now. With unapologetic pragmatism, Dr. Lynn masterfully applies sociology’s finest tools to identify what needs to change, how to do it, and the obstacles that stand in our way. For anyone who wants to effect positive change, this book is a roadmap for action. ”
—Amy L. Best, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, George Mason University
This book has its origins in my time teaching the course on Social Problems at my university.
I loved teaching so many curious, passionate young women and men. But as you can imagine, meeting twice a week to dwell on society’s biggest problems could get pretty depressing.
My students didn’t just want to learn about our problems. They wanted answers. They wanted solutions.
I was surprised to discover how few sociologists had taken the extra step of using our formidable knowledge about how our society works to come up with practical, promising solutions our students could carry out into the world.
I used to joke with the students in my Social Problems class that one day I’d write a book to satisfy their unquenchable thirst for solutions to our greatest social problems.
I’m not joking anymore.
This is that book.
It contains everything I know about how ordinary people like you and me can overcome our differences and divisions, solve our biggest problems…and change the world.
Ph.D., Sociology, George Mason University, 2016
Title: “Hardware, Software, and ‘Peopleware:’ Educational Technology and Embedded Struggles in U.S. High Schools” (Chair: Amy L. Best)
M.A., Sociology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2009
2019-present, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Research Associate
2018-2019, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
2017-present, Few Years’ Resolution, Founder, Director, and Producer
2013-2016, George Mason University, Institute for Immigration Research, Graduate Research Fellow
2013-2015, George Mason University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Graduate Lecturer
2009-2013, George Mason University, Center for Social Science Research, Graduate Research Fellow
Refereed Articles and Book Chapters
Best, Amy L. and Randy Lynn. 2017. “Youth and Consumer Markets.” Pp. 244-251 in Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood, 2nd ed., edited by Andy Furlong. New York: Routledge.
Lynn, Randy and James C. Witte. 2015. “Do Social Network Sites Increase, Decrease, or Supplement the Maintenance of Social Ties?” Pp. 79-107 in Communication and Information Technologies Annual: Politics, Participation, and Production, edited by S. R. Cotten, L. Robinson, and J. Schulz. Cambridge, MA: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Witte, James, Marissa Kiss, and Randy Lynn. 2013. “The Internet and Social Inequalities in the U.S.” Pp. 67-84 in The Digital Divide: The Internet and Social Inequality in International Perspective, edited by M. Ragnedda and G. W. Muschert. New York: Routledge.
Shields, Nancy, Carlie Fieseler, Cassie Gross, Meredith Hilburg, Nick Koechig, Randy Lynn, and Brandi Williams. 2010. “Comparing the Effects of Victimization, Witnessed Violence, Hearing about Violence, and Violent Behavior on Young Adults.” Journal of Applied Social Science 4(1): 79-96.
Reports, Other Articles, and Media Coverage
“I Was a Professor at Four Universities. I Still Couldn’t Make Ends Meet.” 2015. Washington Post, March 6.
“‘Overworked, Underpaid, and Undersupported.’” 2014. Science Careers, October 21.
“George Mason Grad Students Release Adjunct Study.” 2014. Inside Higher Ed, October 13.
“Survey of Adjuncts at George Mason U. Finds Big Gaps in Training and Pay.” 2014. The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 9.
“Study of GMU Contingent Faculty Most Comprehensive to Date.” 2014. New Faculty Majority, October 3.
Allison, Marisa, Randy Lynn, and Victoria Hoverman. 2014. “Indispensable But Invisible: A Report on the Working Climate of Non-Tenure Track Faculty at George Mason University.”Public Sociology Association, George Mason University.
Lynn, Randy and James Witte. 2013. “Immigration Reform Power Tweeters: Part 2.”Huffington Post, December 9.
Lynn, Randy and James Witte. 2013. “Immigration Reform Power Tweeters: Part 1.”Huffington Post, November 5.
Lynn, Randy and James Witte. 2013. “Immigration Reform, the Boston Marathon Bombings, and Twitter.” Huffington Post, May 1.
Best, Amy and Randy Lynn. 2015. “Consumption, Girls’ Culture and.” Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd edition.
2016, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, George Mason University
2013, Summer Doctoral Programme, University of Oxford (UK) Internet Institute, July 8-19, Toronto, ON.
2011, Summer Social Webshop, Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland, August 23-26, College Park, MD.
2010, Summer Research Institute, National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, Cornell University, June 14-18, Ithaca, NY.
2010, Irene B. Taeuber Graduate Student Paper Award, District of Columbia Sociological Society
2009-2012, Presidential Scholarship, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, George Mason University
George Mason University
Education in Contemporary Society (Fall 2015)
Social Problems (Spring 2014, Fall 2013)
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Sociology of Deviant Behavior (Summer 2009)
Sociological Statistics (Summer 2009, Spring 2009, Spring 2008)
Advanced Quantitative Methods (Spring 2009, Spring 2008)
Drugs, Alcohol, and Society (Fall 2008)
Masculinities (Summer 2008)
Introduction to Sociology (Summer 2008)
Certificate in University Teaching, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 2009.
Lynn, Randy and Jennifer Glynn. 2019. “Supporting Academically Promising Students in Rural Settings.” 66th annual convention of the National Association for Gifted Children, November 7-10, Albuquerque, NM.
Lynn, Randy and Jennifer Glynn. 2019. “Recommendations for Supporting Academically Promising Rural Students.” 111th convention of the National Rural Education Association, October 24-26, Louisville, KY.
Allison, Marisa, Randy Lynn, and Victoria Hoverman. 2013. “Inequality in the Lecture Hall: The Precarious Employment of Contingent Faculty.” 38th annual meeting of the Association for Humanist Sociology, October 9-13, Washington, DC.
Allison, Marisa, Randy Lynn, and Victoria Hoverman. 2013. “Advocating for Higher Ed’s Precariat: Doing Public Sociology in the Halls of the Academy.” 3rd annual Public Sociology Graduate Conference, October 12, George Mason University, Arlington, VA.
Lynn, Randy and Marisa Camille Allison. 2013. “Gendered Work and Market Influences in an Educational Technology Initiative: Hardware, Peopleware, Soldiers, Divas, and Prostitutes.” 108th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 10-14, New York, NY.
Lynn, Randy. 2012. “Actor, Medium, Setting: Integrating Online and Offline.” Theorizing the Web 2012 Conference, April 14, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Lynn, Randy. 2012. “What Are We Blocking? Guardian Intervention Strategies and Online Safety Among Youths.” 82nd annual meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, February 23-26, New York, NY.
Semeni, Mina, Randy Lynn, and Jason Smith. 2011. “Social Media and Revolutionary Movements: Toward Research and Activist Agendas.” 1st annual Public Sociology Graduate Conference, October 22, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.
Lynn, Randy and James C. Witte. 2011. “Social Network Sites, Social Ties, and Social Capital.” 106th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 20-23, Las Vegas, NV.
Lynn, Randy and Jeffrey Johnson. 2011. “‘Bitches Love’ Ambiguous Sexism: Gender, ‘Karma,’ and the Limits of Male Progressivism in Online Communities.” Theorizing the Web 2011 Conference, April 9, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
Lynn, Randy and James C. Witte. 2011. “Repaired Is Broken: Newsgroup Commodification, Prosumption, and Rebellion.” Annual meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society, March 24-27, St. Louis, MO.
Lynn, Randy. 2010. “Constructing Parenthood in Moral Panics of Youth, Digital Media, and ‘Sexting.’” 105th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 14-17, Atlanta, GA.
Lynn, Randy and James C. Witte. 2010. “Learning to Like Facebook? Social Categories, Social Network Site Selection, and Social Network Site Uses.” Annual meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society and North Central Sociological Association, March 31-April 3, Chicago, IL.
“Academic Activism for Academic Laborers: Sociology in Support of Action.” 2014. 4th annual Public Sociology Graduate Conference, October 18, George Mason University, Arlington, VA.
“Institutionalization of Social Movements in Higher Education.” 2012. 2nd annual Public Sociology Graduate Conference, October 20, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.
Campus or Departmental Talks
Lynn, Randy. 2011. “Debunking Digital Dualism, Disembodiment, and the Spatialization of the Internet: Toward a New Sociology of Digitally Mediated Social Behavior?” Center for Social Science Research, George Mason University, November 10.