Saylor Breckenridge

R. Saylor Breckenridge
Associate Professor

B.A. – Mathematics and Sociology – University of Arizona, 1991
M.A. – Sociology – University of Arizona, 1993
Ph.D. -Sociology – University of Arizona, 2002

Telephone: (336) 758-7138
Office: 01F Kirby Hall

Personal Website




Dr. Saylor Breckenridge joined the faculty of Wake Forest University in the Fall of 2001 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007. He has earned degrees in both Sociology and Mathematics and his interests are broadly oriented toward economic, organizational, and cultural sociology. He has used these orientations as a means to explore the death care industry and several facets of popular culture, including Major League Baseball, the comic book publishing industry, and North Carolina wine production. He has extensive training and experience in a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies and his research pays particular attention to the use of large time-series data sets as the basis for insight into ecological processes (competition, selection, variation, and legitimation) in populations of organizations and patterns of production and consumption.

 His teaching efforts reflect these interests. He regularly teaches courses in Social Statistics, Methods of Social Research, Principles/Introduction to Sociology, Business and Society, Sociological Analysis of Film, and the Honors’ Seminar. He occasionally teaches Social Theory, Sociology of Popular Culture, and a First-Year Seminar on Competition, Cooperation, and Consumption, among other courses. Additionally, Dr. Breckenridge has taken specific efforts to incorporate Undergraduate Research Fellows into his research efforts, providing advanced, detailed experience in sociological research to undergraduate Sociology majors.

 - During the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Breckenridge is serving as the Director of the Sociology Program at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA.

- In 2011-2012, Dr. Breckenridge served as the Director of the Honors Program in Sociology at Wake Forest University.

- During the 2008-2009 academic year, Dr. Breckenridge served as the Director of the Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics Program in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA.

- During the Fall of 2007, Dr. Breckenridge was a Visiting Associate Professor at Kansai Gaidai University, Hirakata City, Japan while serving as the Director of the Wake Forest Study Abroad Program in Japan.

- From 2005-2007, Dr. Breckenridge was the Faculty Advisor for the Wake Forest University Service Learning Program in Vietnam. In the winter of each of these academic years, he worked with groups of students on projects building schools in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.  In the summer of 2007, Dr. Breckenridge directed an associated full summer-semester study abroad program in Vietnam. This summer program stemmed from the previous winter enterprises but was based on a grant enabling students from all ACC schools to engage in the program – a six-week semester consisting of traditional coursework at a university in Vietnam along with a service-learning component.




Curriculum Vitae




First Year Seminar – Competition and Cooperation: Trends, Fads, and Failures
Soc 151: Principles of Sociology
Soc 152: Social Problems
Soc 270: Social Theory
Soc 271: Social Statistics
Soc 272: Methods of Social Research
Soc 305: Business and Society
Soc 366: Sociological Analysis of Film
Soc 372: Honors Research Seminar
Soc 386: Special Topics: Sociology of Popular Culture
Soc 386: Special Topics: Globalization, Development, and Society