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Lauren Richter

Lauren Richter is a sociologist who studies social inequality and the environment. She uses qualitative interviews, ethnography and archival approaches to broadly examine responses to adverse environmental health impacts. She focuses on US regulatory frameworks and landscapes of scientific knowledge/ignorance production to understand how inequality shapes pollution exposure and possibilities for recourse. Her research and teaching are inspired by critical race theory, environmental justice, science and technology studies and environmental sociology.

Richter has published in Environmental Sociology, Environmental Science & Technology, Social Studies of Science, Organization & Environment, the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. She helped found the Racial Equity Task Force for the American Sociological Association Section on Environmental Sociology, co-organized the 2018 Bridging the Gap: Race and Environment Conference at Temple University and is currently guest editing a special collection on race and the environment for Environmental Sociology.

Prior to joining RISD, Richter was the recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, spending a year as a research fellow at the Silent Spring Institute and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University. Between MA and PhD degrees, she worked at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment in California and taught courses on Environmental Justice at the University of San Francisco. In 2018 Richter completed a certification in mindful facilitation focused on conversations on white supremacy, race and racism.

Academic research/areas of interest

Environmental justice and health
Environmental sociology
Critical race theory
Social movements and backlash
Sociology of ignorance, denial and apathy
The corporate form
Privilege and consumption

Fall 2019 Courses

  • HPSS-S735-01 Environmental Justice and Injustice
  • HPSS-S736-01 Social Movements, Backlash & Narrative
  • HPSS-S736-02 Social Movements, Backlash & Narrative

Spring 2020 Courses

  • HPSS-S101-15 Topics: History, Philosophy, & The Social Sciences
  • HPSS-S101-14 Topics: History, Philosophy,& The Social Sciences