Richard Breen is named the Sumner Professor of Sociology

Richard Breen, the newly appointed William Graham Sumner Professor of Sociology, focuses his research on social stratification and inequality, quantitative methods and the application of formal models in the social sciences.

He serves as co-director of the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course. He is the author of the 2004 book “Social Mobility in Europe” and has authored or co-authored numerous book chapters on topics ranging from social mobility and education, religious mobility, class inequalities and gender differences, and game theory.

Breen joined the Yale faculty in 2007. He was previously an official fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, where he is a senior research fellow. From 1991 to 2000 he was a professor of sociology at The Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he was director of the Centre for Social Research from 1992 to 1998. He has also taught at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Breen earned his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, and conducted doctoral fieldwork in County Kerry, the Republic of Ireland. Since completing his Ph.D. thesis on change and development in an Irish rural community, he has studied issues of social class, social mobility and social attitudes in Ireland.

Elected to membership in the Royal Irish Academy, Breen is also a fellow of the British Academy, the European Academy of Sociology, and the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fur Sozialforschung. He is an elected member of Academia Europaea and the American Sociological Association’s Sociological Research Association. He is a consulting editor of the American Journal of Sociology and a member of the editorial board of the Annual Review of Sociology.