Liza G.
Associate Professor

PhD, Princeton University, Sociology

MA, Princeton University, Sociology

Master of International Affairs, Columbia University (SIPA)

BA, Columbia University (Columbia College)


Liza G. Steele is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York (CUNY), John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The 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, and has been published in journals such as the Annual Review of Sociology, Social Forces, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and presented in six countries. 

Dr. Steele researches attitudes toward income inequality, immigrants/refugees, ethnic diversity, social mobility, and social welfare policies ("social policy preferences" or "preferences for redistribution") in cross-national perspective, and is a co-founder of the Social Policy Preferences Network. She is currently focused on two projects: (1) a three-wave conjoint survey experiment about Americans’ preferred immigrant and refugee characteristics before (2019), during (2021), and after (2024) the pandemic and, (2) a mixed-methods study of New Yorkers’ attitudes toward the migrant influx that began in 2022 (with Phil Kasinitz). Other ongoing work pertains to the measurement of ethnic diversity and the relationship between policy preferences, wealth, and social mobility. Her previous research includes in-depth studies of Brazil and China. She uses both traditional and computational quantitative, as well as qualitative methods in her research, and has a working knowledge of French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish. She teaches Statistics and Global Social Stratification at the undergraduate, master’s, and PhD levels, and regularly publishes with her students.

Professor Steele received a PhD in Sociology from Princeton University, and completed the Columbia University dual-degree program receiving a Master's in International Affairs from SIPA and a BA in Political Science from Columbia College.

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., Lamis Abdelaaty, and Nga Than. 2023. “Attitudes about Refugees and Immigrants Arriving in the United States: A Conjoint Experiment” Ethnic and Racial Studies. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2022.2159475.* Published article | PDF | Supplemental Appendix
  • 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).