William Hoynes Professor of Sociology
William Hoynes is Professor of Sociology and former Director of both the American Studies Program and the Media Studies Program at Vassar College. He received his PhD in Sociology from Boston College and joined Vassar’s Sociology Department in 1992. Hoynes is a cultural sociologist whose research explores contemporary media and culture in the US, with a special focus on the relationships among journalism, the structure of the media industry, and practices of democratic citizenship.
- BA, Tufts University; PhD, Boston College
- At Vassar since 1992
→ See Hoynes’ recent commentary on the 2016 election published on CommonDreams: Learning the Wrong Lesson from the Trump Victory
→ Hoynes recently worked with Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson on a study of energy insecurity in the Hudson Valley. Download the report: Just Utilities: Organizing for Solutions to the Household Energy Crisis.
Hoynes is the author of:
- Public Television for Sale (Westview Press, 1994), which was awarded the 1995 Goldsmith Book Prize from the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Hoynes is co-author of:
- The Business of Media: Corporate Media and the Public Interest (with David Croteau, Pine Forge/Sage, second edition, 2006), which was awarded the Robert Picard Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
- The Political Diversity of Public Television: Polysemy, the Public Sphere, and the Conservative Critique of PBS. (with David Croteau and Kevin Carragee, Journalism and Mass Communication Monographs 157, 1996).
- By Invitation Only: How the Media Limit Political Debate (with David Croteau, Common Courage Press, 1994).
Hoynes is co-editor, with David Croteau and Charlotte Ryan, of:
- Rhyming Hope and History: Activists, Academics, and Social Movement Scholarship (University of Minnesota Press, 2006).
Hoynes and Croteau are co-authors of two widely-used texts:
- Media/Society: Industries, Images, and Audiences (Sage Publications, fifth edition, 2014),
- Experience Sociology (McGraw-Hill, third edition, 2018).
Hoynes served as Guest Editor of a Special Issue of Peace Review: Symposium on Nonviolent Movements: Prospects and Challenges in March 2014.
Hoynes teaches classes on various aspects of contemporary media and culture, including:
- Mass Media and Society
- News Media in the U.S.
- Media and War
- Class, Culture, and Power
- Culture, Commerce, and the Public Sphere
- Sociology Research Methods
In the Media
Climate Change, Journalism, Refugees, X-Rays
More than 450 visitors spent a day on the Vassar campus, attending classes, taking tours and enjoying a concert by members of the Music Department. “A Day at Vassar” was a huge success.
How To Be Smarter With Your Smartphone
Two dozen Poughkeepsie Middle School students are spending a couple of weeks on the Vassar campus, learning how to be more creative with their smartphones. The Digital Literacy camp is sponsored by Vassar’s Urban Education Initiative, in collaboration with Art Effect, a Poughkeepsie arts and media organization.