Liza G.
Associate Professor

PhD, Princeton University, Sociology

MA, Princeton University, Sociology

Master of International Affairs, Columbia University (SIPA)

BA, Columbia University (Columbia College)


Dr. Liza G. Steele is an Associate Professor (with early tenure) of Sociology at the City University of New York (CUNY), John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a member of the doctoral faculty at The CUNY Graduate Center, and a faculty affiliate at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR). Her research is at the nexus of Sociology and Political Science. Her research has been published in journals such as the Annual Review of SociologySocial Forces, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

She researches attitudes towards income inequality, immigrants/refugees, social mobility,  and social welfare policies ("social policy preferences" or "preferences for redistribution"), and is a co-founder of the Social Policy Preferences Network. Her ongoing work on policy preferences is divided into two lines of research: (1) diversity and migration, and (2) wealth and social mobility. More generally, her research focuses on how social stratification and economic inequality affect the development of beliefs, attitudes, and values through the lens of cross-national comparison. Her previous research includes in-depth studies of Brazil and China. She uses both traditional and computational quantitative and qualitative methods in her research, and has a working knowledge of French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Previously, she was an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies at the State University of New York (SUNY), Purchase. She received her PhD in Sociology from Princeton University, and holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Political Science and International Affairs from Columbia University.

JJC Affiliations
Sociology, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, CUNY Graduate Center, Macauley Honors Program
Courses Taught

SOC 324 Advanced Social Statistics

HON 380 Quantitative Research Methods

SOC 232 Social Stratification



French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese
Scholarly Work
Edited Volumes  

Journal Articles

  • Steele, Liza G., Amie Bostic, Scott M. Lynch, and Lamis Abdelaaty. 2022. “Measuring Ethnic Diversity” Annual Review of Sociology Vol. 48. Review in Advance | Preprint PDF | Supplemental Appendix

  • Steele, Liza G., Joseph N. Cohen and Joseph Reynolds van der Naald. 2022. “Wealth, Income, and Preferences for Redistribution: Evidence from 30 countries.” Social Science Research. doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2022.102746 Link  | Data for replication (SocArXiv)*

  • Than, Nga, Friederike Windel, and Liza G. Steele. 2022. “#Lorrydeaths: Structural Topic Modeling of Twitter Users’ Attitudes about the Deaths of 39 Vietnamese Migrants to the United Kingdom” Frontiers in Sociology. 7:787450. doi: 10.3389/fsoc.2022.787450. Link (open access)*

  • Abdelaaty, Lamis, and Liza G. Steele. 2022. “Explaining Attitudes towards Refugees and Immigrants in Europe.” Political Studies. DOI: 10.1177/0032321720950217. Link

  • Steele, Liza G. 2021. “Wealth and Preferences for Redistribution: The effects of financial assets and home equity in 31 countries.”International Journal of Comparative Sociology. DOI: 10.1177/0020715220988088. Link

  • Steele, Liza G. and Lamis Abdelaaty. 2019. “Ethnic Diversity and Attitudes towards Refugees in Europe.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 45(11):1833-1856. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2018.1513785. Link

  • Steele, Liza G. and Nate Breznau. 2019. “Attitudes toward Redistributive Policy: An Introduction.” Societies. 9(3): 50. Link (open access)

  • Steele, Liza G. and Krystal M. Perkins. 2019.  “The Effects of Perceived Neighborhood Immigrant Population Size on Preferences for Redistribution in New York City: A Pilot Study.” Frontiers in Sociology 4(Special Issue edited by Moshe Semyonov and Guillermina Jasso on Immigration in the Global Era: Migrants and the People and Laws at Origin and Destination):18 (pp. 1-15). Link

  • Steele, Liza G. and Krystal M. Perkins. 2018. “The Effects of Perceived Neighborhood Diversity on Preferences for Redistribution: A Pilot Study.” Societies. 8(3):82. Published article (open access) | PDF

  • Steele, Liza G. 2016a. “Ethnic Diversity and Support for Redistributive Social Policies.” Social Forces. 94(4):1439-1481. DOI: 10.1093/sf/sow021. Published article | PDF | Online supplement

  • Steele, Liza G. 2016b. “Multi-Religiosity: Expanding research on ties to multiple faiths in the 21st century.” New Diversities. 18(1):37-52. (Invited Special Issue: Religion and Super-Diversity). Published article | PDF

  • Steele, Liza G. 2015. “Income Inequality, Equal Opportunity, and Attitudes About Redistribution.” Social Science Quarterly. 96(2):444-464. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12145. Published article | PDF

  • Steele, Liza G. and Scott M. Lynch. 2013. “The Pursuit of Happiness in China: Individualism, Collectivism, and Subjective Well-Being during China’s Economic and Social Transformation.” Social Indicators Research. 114(2):441-451. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0154-1. Published article | PDF

  • Telles, Edward and Liza G. Steele. 2012. “Pigmentocracy in the Americas: How is Educational Attainment Related to Skin Color?AmericasBarometer Insights. 73:1-8. Published article [In Spanish as “Pigmentocracia en las Américas: ¿cómo se relaciona el logro educativo con el color de piel?” Perspectivas desde el Barómetro de las Américas. PDF (open access - Español)]

  • Steele, Liza G. 2011. “‘A Gift from God’: Adolescent Motherhood and Religion in Brazilian Favelas.” Sociology of Religion. 72(1): 4-27. (Lead article) Published article | PDF | Online supplement

    • Graduate Student Paper Award, American Sociological Association Children and Youth Section, 2011

    • Graduate Student Paper Award Honorable Mention, American Sociological Association Community and Urban Sociology Section, 2011

  • Steele, Liza and Raymond C. Kuo. 2007. “Terrorism in Xinjiang?Ethnopolitics. 6(1): 1-19. (Lead article) Published article | PDF


Other Publications

  • Steele, Liza G. 2018. "Ask the Experts" interview for "2018's Most & Least Ethnically Diverse Cities in the U.S." by Richie Bernardo. WalletHub, February 13th. Article

  • Telles, Edward and Liza G. Steele. 2012. “The Effects of Skin Color in the Americas.” Americas Quarterly. Published article

  • Steele, Liza G. 2011. "Multiple Faiths." in Encyclopedia of Global Religion, edited by Wade Clark Roof and Mark Juergensmeyer. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Encyclopedia entry

  • Steele, Liza G. 2011. "Deng Xiaoping (1904–1997)." in Encyclopedia of Global Religion, edited by Wade Clark Roof and Mark Juergensmeyer. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Encyclopedia entrySteele, Liza G. and Krystal Perkins. 

  • Than, Nga, Friederieke Windel, and Liza G. Steele. Forthcoming: 2022. “#Lorrydeaths: Structural Topic Modeling of Twitter Users’ Attitudes about the Deaths of 39 Vietnamese Migrants to the United Kingdom.” Frontiers in Sociology (accepted 6/20/22) .