Wenjie Liao Headshot

Wenjie Liao

Assistant Professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-5235
Office Location

Wenjie Liao

Assistant Professor

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-5235

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Liao, Wenjie, Kim Ebert, and Lisa Sun-Hee Park. "Migration and Racialization Part II: The Light and Shadow of Inclusion." American Behavioral Scientist. (2022): online first. Web.
Ebert, Kim, Wenjie Liao, and Lisa Sun-Hee Park. "Migration and Racialization Part I: Constructing and Navigating a Hostile Terrain." American Behavioral Scientist. (2022): online first. Web.
Busse, Erika, Meghan Krausch, and Wenjie Liao. "How the ‘Neutral’ University Makes Critical Feminist Pedagogy Impossible: Intersectional Analysis from Marginalized Faculty on Three Campuses." Sociological Spectrum 41. 1 (2021): 29-52. Print.
Liao, Wenjie and Liying Luo. "Gender, Education, and Attitudes toward Women’s Leadership in Three East Asian Countries: An Intersectional and Multilevel Approach." Societies 11. 3 (2021): 103. Web.
Liao, Wenjie, et al. "The House Is on Fire but We Kept the Burglars Out: Racial Apathy and White Ignorance in Pandemic-Era Immigration Detention." Social Sciences 10. 10 (2021): 358. Web.
Liao, Wenjie. "Legitimacy of authoritarian law: Legal compliance in China." International Sociology 34. 6 (2019): 675-695. Print.
Ebert, Kim, Wenjie Liao, and Emily P. Estrada. "Apathy and Color-Blindness in Privatized Immigration Control." Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. (2019): online first. Web.
Boyle, Elizabeth H., Shannon Golden, and Wenjie Liao. "Catholic Church and International Law." Annual Review of Law and Social Science 13. (2017): 395-411. Print.
Book Chapter
Liao, Wenjie and Joachim J. Savelsberg. "Law." Handbuch Sozialwissenschaftliche Gedächtnisforschung. Ed. M. Berek,, et al. Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer Fachmedien, 2021. 1-15. Web.

Currently Teaching

SOCI-102
3 Credits
Sociology is the study of the social world and socialization processes. Sociologists study the broader picture of how societies are structured and organized through a macro-sociological analysis as well as how individuals create their own social reality symbolically through their interactions with others in a micro-sociological analysis. Students in this course will learn the fundamentals of each approach and come away with a sociological framework which they can critically apply to their own lives.
SOCI-102H
3 Credits
This course explores how sociological concepts, theories and research account for such social phenomena as socialization, deviance, social structure, stratification, political and religious affiliation and social change. It will also explore how social factors account for political and economic behavior and the speed and spread of technological change.
SOCI-305
3 Credits
How is the murder of one person different from that of one million? Why is one act a crime while the other simply history? While mass atrocities have occurred, and continue to occur, throughout human history, it is only until recently that international laws started to name and criminalize these atrocities as human rights violations. This course revolves around the worst mass atrocities in recent human history and the responses they receive, focusing on violent crimes perpetrated by the state and the emerging human rights regime in response to such crimes after WWII. As a class, we will seek answers to questions such as: Why do ordinary people participate in extreme violence against their neighbors? How is violence sanctioned and organized by the state different from interpersonal violence? Who is responsible for state-sanctioned violence? What is the role of those who do not participate in or stop the violence? What is the role of human rights and human rights laws in preventing state-sanctioned violence? What are the possible responses to state-sanctioned violence under human rights laws? What are the consequences of such responses? Whether/how does social context matter in the way mass atrocities unfold and the responses they receive? To answer these questions, we will examine historical documents, watch movies, read literature, and study scholarly work. This course will be useful for students who seek careers in areas such as international law, diplomacy, human rights advocacy/prosecution, and criminal justice in general.
SOCI-395
3 Credits
Borders are more than walls; they are social constructions with real consequences. This course examines the creation and consequences of borders. It discusses how borders developed historically, how borders function as tools of population management in places and systems far from the borderlands, and the politics and experiences of border crossing. We will look for borders both between and within nation states when addressing these issues. The course will utilize a variety of materials including but not limited to scholarly sources, policy transcripts, popular cultural products (e.g. films and TV shows), and art (e.g. poetry, paintings). Students will play an active role in determining specific course topics, though they can expect to discuss a range of relevant issues including contemporary immigration politics, Indigenous rights, the war on terror, border disputes and armed conflicts, privatization of immigration management, displacement and segregation of domestic populations, and border activism. This course provides students with tools that ground and expand their understanding of borders, preparing them for participation in one of the most important public debates of our time. The purview of this course is relevant for those who aspire toward professions in public policy, law enforcement, public service, law, and community-organizing, among others.

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