Ryan Alan Sporer


Ryan Alan Sporer is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at University of Illinois at Chicago. His focuses include: Social Movements, Political Sociology, Immigration, Environmental Sociology, and Sociology of Science and Technology.

Ryan Alan Sporer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Ryan teaches undergraduate courses in sociology at several universities and colleges in the greater Chicago area. He implements a critical pedagogy, which draws off of Paulo Freire and bell hooks teachings. Focusing on patience, anti-elitism, and purposefulness, in practice he refines themes further. Genuine patience requires mutual respect, anti-elitism requires a sense of equality, and purposefulness requires an action-oriented outlook. It is through these practices that he cultivate an empathetic curiosity. Regardless of the substantive material for a course students come away with a greater sense of respect for both the “Other” and others, a mindfulness of difference undergirded by a solid foundation of equality, and a palpable understanding of the connection between knowing and doing.

Ryan received his MA in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BA in Sociology from Purdue. He has studied several social movements including the worker take over of factories in Argentina in 2001/2002 and anti-immigrant groups in the US.

Currently, he is studying a social movement based out of New Mexico to build off-grid housing called Earthships. This dissertation project promises theoretical innovation by drawing on the broad philosophy of New Materialist thought taking inspiration from Science and Technology Studies. New Materialism provides frameworks for thinking past binaries such as subject/object, nature/society, and realism/constructivism. To supplant these binaries the above authors provide concepts to navigate a flat ontological world. Through the physical engagement of building and interviews with builders and dwellers Ryan explores the political and moral implication of activism that is primarily focused on manipulating matter. Specifically, he develops the concept of politics of circumvention, defined as individuals and groups creating assemblages of human and non-human to make engagement with large-scale, centralized and for-profit assemblages less necessary, thus providing greater freedom and autonomy to the dwellers and indirectly contributing to social change.