James Davidson

Sociology of Religion
High Res Photo


Ph.D. Sociology, Baylor University, expected May 2020
M.A. Sociology, Baylor University, 2017
B.S. Sociology University of Oklahoma, 2015
A.A. Enterprise Development, Rose State University, 2013


A native of northern California, James worked in the private sector for a number of years before completing his Bachelors in Sociology at the University of Oklahoma. Now in his fifth year of graduate studies at Baylor, areas of research interest include politics and culture, race and class inequalities, and their relationship to health disparities. His master’s thesis focused on non-religious community formation and political activism. Recent work looks at the role of community and factors such as race and class on perceived threats from religious groups. His dissertation looks at the role of discrimination on health outcomes and how religion and spirituality can potentially buffer these negative effects.

James also holds a research fellowship with the Harvard/Massachusetts General Hospital Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities where he is a co-investigator on the Study on Stress, Spirituality, and Health. This multi-cohort consortium is the first large-scale national project to investigate the potential impact of spirituality, religious coping, social support, and other positive factors that may buffer the adverse biological impact of stress on the body and contribute to resiliency and health. His research focuses on health disparities linked to perceived discrimination in large diverse cohort of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, South Asians, and white women.

There are a number of reasons why James chose Baylor University for his graduate studies. First, Baylor sociology graduates have a record of being highly successful in the field. They have excellent track records and are often placed at highly ranked and regarded institutions. Second, the training that is offered here is on par with and, in many cases, exceeds some of the top-level institutions. Whether in areas like quantitative methodologies, data collection, or in-classroom teaching, Baylor sociology provides the opportunities and guidance that make graduates successful. Third, Baylor sociology has a record of developing excellent teachers, and James has continued this tradition by winning a university-wide graduate teaching award in 2018. Finally, the sociology department has a highly collegial atmosphere. The faculty work side by side with the graduate students and provide opportunities to engage in academic pursuits. Professors often co-author papers with students and provide excellent levels of mentorship. This mentorship combined with quality training and high levels of support combine to create these strong graduate student outcomes.

Recent Publications:

Bradshaw, J. M., Kent, B.V., Davidson J. C., & DeLeon, S.  Forthcoming. “Parents, Peers, and Trajectories of Cigarette Smoking: A Group-Based Approach.” Youth and Society. (Accepted June 2019)

Park, Jerry Z. and Davidson, James Clark. 2020. “Rendered Invisible: Decentering the White American Religious Experience” in Religion is Raced, edited by Penny Edgell and Grace Yukich. New York, NY: NYU Press. (final review/revisions complete-at publisher)

Kendall, Diana and Davidson, James Clark. Rich Woman, Poor Woman: The Plight of Women in the Trump Era. Book under contract, projected late 2020/early 2021. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, MD. (in progress)

Davidson, James Clark and Pieper, Christopher Monroe. 2019. "Creating Political Habitus:  Religion Versus Nonreligion." Social Science Quarterly 100(4):1369-1386.

Davidson, James Clark. 2019. Book Review: From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and Political Environment Shape Identity by Michelle F. Margolis. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 58(2):539-540.

Park, Jerry Z. and Davidson, James Clark. 2017. “Forum: Studying Religion in the Age of Trump.” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 27(1):2–56.

James Davidson's Full Curriculum Vitae.

Department of Sociology

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