Photo by: Kristy Salsbury, UCI, 2012

James R. Hull

Lecturer, PSOE
School of Social Sciences
4169 Social Science Plaza A
Office: 949.824.5691

Teaching at Irvine

I joined the faculty at UC Irvine in the Fall of 2012 as a lecturer with potential security of employment in the School of Social Sciences.

Chief among my duties as an educator, mentor, and member of the Irvine community is preparing and inspiring our undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Social sciences to make vital, innovative contributions to solving pressing social problems now and in the future.

In the classroom, I aim to provide students with high-quality instruction in the art and science of social data collection and analysis, probability and statistics for the social sciences, and other advanced topics in the vast pantheon of social research methods.

Research Synopsis

In my research, I am committed to building a better understanding the role of economic and social exchange in broader contexts. In particular, my research has focused on processes of household capital accumulation and decision-making about key resources – land, crops, and the allocation of household labor. I also examine the transition from a barter economy to a cash economy through the lens of social structure, investigating the impacts of shifting exchange media on social networks, agricultural intensification, and labor mobility, among other phenomena.

These investigations have relied upon high-quality longitudinal data collection efforts spanning multiple decades in two major regions – a rural province in Northeastern Thailand and, more recently, study sites in the Brazilian states of Pará and Mato Grosso. Incorporating multiple sites at various stages of frontier and post-frontier development has enabled my colleagues and I to generate comparative cross-contextual hypotheses about shared drivers of changes to vital sources of wealth – in land use and natural capital, social capital, education and human capital, and financial capital and monetary wealth.

A recently published chapter in “The Politics and Ecologies of Health” (King and Crews-Meyers, ed., 2013) on household livelihood strategies, multiple capitals, and health provides a comprehensive theoretical framework for guiding comparative work on the intersections of health and politics in frontier contexts.

Other ongoing or recently concluded research efforts include drivers and consequences of out-migration at the place of origin with a focus on the impacts on those left behind, and the effects of social distance and spatial proximity on the processes of mechanization, intensification, and land use and land cover change.

I am also deeply committed to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and to seeking out novel technologies and applications to improve classroom management, pedagogical communication, and learning outcomes generally.

When I’m not hard at work on the above I enjoy running, cycling, writing epic fiction, poetry, and musical composition.

Professional History

Most recently I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and before that, I worked as an NSF IGERT Predoctoral Trainee at the Carolina Population Center while I was completing my dissertation, which was entitled, “Monetization: A Theory and Applications.” That work establishes a theoretical foundation for the sociological study of money and monetization and helps to connect this pervasive economic and social phenomenon to changes in social structure, lives, and livelihoods in the context of historically agricultural economies.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010
M.A., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006
B.A., Sociology, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 2002