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Contact Information
Voice: 657-278-4906
Dept: 657-278-3531

Anthony S. Alvarez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology

Undergraduate Advisor


My general research interests lie in economic sociology; particularly in using the lens of economic sociology to understand patterns of inequality. I have recently focused on how households use payday loans – short term, high costs loans – and how these loans fit into their broader pattern of financial behaviors and beliefs. Central to this are the ways in which households manage their financial networks – friends and family they rely upon for material forms of support. I am currently conducting interviews with payday borrowers in Southern California on their financial practices, as well tracing the development of payday lending regulations at the state level. I also have an interest in the development of economic and social policy, in particular the history of the income tax and the development of monetary policy across US history. More specifically, I am concerned with the discursive development of the idea of taxation in American politics. In regard to monetary policy, I am interested in the changing popular conceptions of inflation, and how different social groups have tried to use inflation, or the threat of inflation, in the contestation over resources.

I regularly teach Statistics, Social Inequality, and the Sociology of Money. I am in the process of updating our course on the Sociology of the Welfare State.  


2013, Ph.D, Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

2003, M.A., Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park

1999, B.A, University of Maryland, College Park

Curriculum VitaePDF File Opens in new window

Research Areas

Economic Sociology, Poverty and Inequality, Consumer Finance, Public Policy, Race/Ethnicity, Historical Comparative Sociology, Technology Studies

Courses Regularly Taught

Soci 303  Statistics for Social Sciences

Soci 302  Research Methods

Soci 356  Social Inequality

 Soci 470 Sociology of Money


Wherry, Fred, Kristin Seefeldt and Anthony S. Alvarez. 2019. Credit Where It’s Due: Rethinking Financial Citizenship,  Russell Sage Foundation Press; NY, NY.

Wherry, Frederick, Kristin Seefeldt, and Anthony S. Alvarez. 2019. “To Lend or Not to Lend to Friends and Kin: Awkwardness, Obfuscation, and Negative Reciprocity”, Social Forces,


Thacker Thomas, Devon and Eileen Walsh, Berna Torr, Anthony S. Alvarez and Maria Malagon. 2019. “Incorporating High-Impact Practices for Retention: A Learning Community Model for Transfer Students”, Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice

Krippner, Greta and Anthony Alvarez. 2007. "Embeddedness and the Intellectual Projects of Economic Sociology", Annual Review of Sociology, v.33. 

Robinson, John P. and Anthony S. Alvarez. 2004. “The Social Impact of the Internet: A 2003 Update”, in Transforming Enterprise, William H. Dutton, Brian Kahin, Ramon O'Callaghan and Andrew W. Wyckoff, eds. MIT Press. 

Alvarez, Anthony S. 2004. “Behavioral and Environmental Correlates of Digital Inequality”, IT&Society, v.1(5):97-140. (

Robinson, John P., Meyer Kestnbaum, Alan Neustadtl, and Anthony Alvarez. 2002 "The Internet and Other Uses of Time" in The Internet in Everyday Life, Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite, eds. Blackwell: Malden, MA.

Robinson, John P., Alain Chenu and Anthony S. Alvarez. 2002. "Measuring the complexity of hours at work: the weekly work grid" Monthly Labor Review, v.125(4): 44-54.

Robinson, John P., Meyer Kestnbaum, Alan Neustadtl, and Anthony Alvarez. 2000. "Mass Media Use and Social Life Among Internet Users." Social Science Computer Review, v.18(4): 490-501.

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