Jasper Johns, Flag (detail)

Jasper Johns, Flag (detail), 1954-55 (MoMA) | Photo courtesy of Steven Zucker via flickr

About us

Who counts as a “real” American? What is required of a “good” citizen? Is American democracy flourishing or floundering? In today’s deeply polarized America, the answers to these questions depend on who you ask, but the ways that people answer them matter for us all. The Meanings of Democracy Lab, founded and directed by sociologist Dr. Ruth Braunstein, engages students and partners in collaborative research and discussion about the contested moral and cultural foundations of American democratic life. Current projects focus on the moral meanings of taxpaying and on battles over American identity and history.

Contact us

If you are interested in participating in or collaborating with the Meanings of Democracy Lab, please contact
Dr. Ruth Braunstein at ruth.braunstein@uconn.edu.

News

  • Work with us (Spring 2022 Opportunities)!
    The Meanings of Democracy Lab, directed by Professor Ruth Braunstein of the Sociology Department, is offering five research assistantships for interested, high-achieving undergraduate students in Spring 2022. Research Assistants will work with Dr. Braunstein on research related to the contested moral and cultural foundations of American democratic life, including on ongoing projects on the moral […]
  • Introducing our Fall 2021 Team
    This Fall, the Meanings of Democracy Lab welcomes its first class of Graduate Research Fellows and Undergraduate Research Assistants! Sociology PhD candidates Amy Lawton and Nabil Tueme join the Lab as Graduate Research Fellows. Six Undergraduate Research Assistants — Gvantsa Ambokadze (Major: Political Science); ; David de Siqueira Campos McLaughlin (Major: Computer Science); Colin Sullivan […]
  • Meanings of Democracy Lab Launched
    We are excited to announce the launch of the Meanings of Democracy Lab, founded and directed by UConn sociologist Dr. Ruth Braunstein. Several big questions animate how Americans engage in civic and political life: Who counts as a “real” American? What is required of a “good” citizen? Is American democracy flourishing or floundering? In today’s deeply […]

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