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Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Mississippi

John Green | Research | Publications | CV


John J. Green

Professor of Sociology
Co-Director, Society and Health Minor
Senior Research Associate, Center for Population Studies
Affiliated Faculty, School of Law

Ph.D, University of Missouri
Community Development, Rural Sociology, Methods, Demography, Health, Agrifood Systems
Lamar Hall 537  |  662-915-7295

Office Hours:  By appointment

Soc 370 Society & Population Health
Soc 501 Statistics
Soc 502 Social Research Methods



I graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, and then followed with a Master of Science diploma in Sociology from the same institution. I wrote my thesis on the conflict surrounding the siting of a hazardous waste facility in a rural Mississippi community. During undergraduate and graduate studies, I worked as a research assistant at the Social Science Research Center.

Wanting to further my education, I went to The University of Missouri-Columbia and completed a Ph.D. in Rural Sociology. I focused my dissertation research on evaluating the social movement for grassroots economic development led by community-based cooperative organizations. This involved mixed-methods research and partnerships with nonprofit organizations operating at local, state, national, and international levels.

I joined the faculty in the Division of Social Sciences at Delta State University in 2002, beginning with an appointment as Assistant Professor of Sociology and Community Development. That fall, I founded the Institute for Community-Based Research, a collaborative network of faculty, students and nonprofit organizations. In January 2003 I started my work as Graduate Coordinator for the M.S. in Community Development program. I was awarded tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor in 2008. While at Delta State University I also served as Interim Chair of the Division of Social Sciences, Acting Chair of History, and Director of the Center for Community and Economic Development. Serving an 18-county region, the latter organization provided technical assistance, research, and capacity building services. The Center administered a broad portfolio of externally funded grants and contracts.

Moving to Oxford, I began my position as Director of the Center for Population Studies at The University of Mississippi (UM) in July 2011. The Center seeks to educate, conduct research, and engage in public outreach concerning population issues.   It houses many programs, including State Data Center of Mississippi.  After nine years in service as Director, in July 2020 I stepped into the role of Senior Research Associate.  Additionally, I serve as Professor of Sociology, Co-Director of the Minor in Society and Health, and Affiliated Faculty with the School of Law.

I am actively involved in scholarly organizations, as illustrated through my previous and current formal leadership roles in the Community Development Society, Southern Rural Sociological Association, Rural Sociological Society, Alabama-Mississippi Sociological Association, and Delta Directions Consortium. I was awarded the Delta State University Foundation Prizes for Excellence in Service and for Excellence in Research, the Rural Sociological Society’s Award for Excellence in Extension and Public Outreach, and the Community Development Society’s Ted K. Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award. In 2018 I received the Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement Award from the UM College of Liberal Arts. Furthermore, I served two terms as Editor-in-Chief of Community Development and I now serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Rural Social Sciences.  I was chosen to serve as the Mississippi Humanities Council for the traveling Smithsonian Institute exhibit Crossroads:  Change in Rural America for 2020-2021.


I approach my investigations through applied research and community-based research frameworks. This involves engaging with public agencies and nonprofit organizations seeking to use research to inform community and regional problem solving on social development policy issues. In particular, I am interested in the intersections of agrifood systems, health systems, and wellbeing.  I work closely with students. We use applied multi-method (e.g. fieldwork, focus groups, surveys, secondary data analysis) projects to develop knowledge and build skills that supplement what students learn from the more traditional classroom.

My research is eclectic in regards to substantive topics, including rural sociology, social development(from a community development perspective),  research methods, demography, health, and agrifood systems. There are three important themes that I am particularly interested in: 1) individual, household/family and community vulnerability and resilience in the face of shocks and stressors; 2) health and wellbeing disparities and access to services; and 3) the challenges and successes experienced by families living in rural places, especially the position of limited-resource groups navigating agrifood and health systems.

For the past several years I have been involved in a series of initiatives focused on better integrating the community-based research framework – which is often mischaracterized as being inherently qualitative – with quantitative approaches to research and evaluation. This includes in-depth attention to the ways in which quantitative data are collected, analyzed, and used for developing knowledge, evaluating programs, and making decisions.  I have a deep interest in “official statistics.”  Through ongoing engagement, I seek to open up both sides of the qualitative versus quantitative traditions with the hope of improving population studies in evaluation of social development initiatives. Much of my work in this arena is focusing on community engagement with the 2020 Census, American Community Survey, and a range of other demographic and health data sources.

In terms of settings, I am deeply involved in research projects located in Mississippi, especially the Gulf Coast and Delta regions. Additionally, I regularly participate in broader multi-state projects, especially those focused on rural communities and regions such as the Delta Directions Consortium. Much of my work entailed travel beyond the mainland U.S. and to international destinations (e.g. Jamaica, Mexico, Northern Ireland, and South Africa). I was involved in a multi-year project in Hawaii and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands, especially Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa. In all of these travels, I sought to explore and better understand community development in a broader global context and to use those experiences to better understand the Mississippi experience.

Selected Recent Publications

Research Methods

2019. John Green, Heather Hanna, Lynn Woo, Rachel Haggard, & Anne Buffington. “Using Community Engagement Approaches to Bolster 2020 Census Participation.”  Choices. Quarter 4.

2017. “Community Development in the Era of Large-Scale Data: Integrating Quantitative Data and Community Engagement.” In S. Kenny, B. McGrath, & R. Phillips (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Community Development. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

2012. “Who Counts Reality and Why it Counts: Searching for a Community-Based Approach to Quantitative Inquiry.” Journal of Rural Social Sciences 27 (2):137-149.

2012. Anna Kleiner, Katie Kerstetter, and John Green. “Community-Based Research: Analysis of Outcomes for Learning and Social Change” (Introductory Essay to a Special Issue). Journal of Rural Social Sciences 27 (2):1-11. JRSS.2012.27.2.1-11.pdf

Community Development & Rural Sociology

2019. Anne Cafer, John Green, & Gary Goreham. “The Community Resilience Framework for Community Development Practitioners Building Equity and Adaptive Capacity.” Community Development 50(2). doi: 10.1080/15575330.2019.1575442

2016. John Green. “Community Development and Social Development: Informing Concepts of Place and Intentional Social Change in a Globalizing World (Commentary).” Research on Social Work Practice 26(6): 605-608.

2015. John Green, Tracy Greever-Rice, & Gary Glass, Jr. 2015. “Sociodemographic Snapshots of the Mississippi Delta.” In J. Collins (ed.), Defining the Delta: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on the Lower Mississippi River Delta. The University of Arkansas Press.

2014. “The Status of African Americans in the Rural United States.” In C. Bailey, L. Jensen, & E. Ransom (eds.), Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s. West Virginia University Press.

2014. Katie Kerstetter, Molly Phillips, & John Green. “Collective Action to Improve Rural Community Wellbeing: Opportunities and Constraints in the Mississippi Delta.” Rural Society 23 (3): 256-268. doi:10.5172/rsj.2014.5267

2011. John Green, Eleanor Green, & Anna Kleiner. “From the Past to the Present: Agricultural Development and Black Farmers in the American South.” In A. Alkon and J. Agyeman (eds.), Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class and Sustainability. MIT Press.

Agrifood Systems, Health Systems & Wellbeing

2020. Leif Jensen, Shannon Monnat, John Green, Lori Hunter, & Martin Sliwinski. “Rural Population Health and Aging:  Toward a Multilevel and Multidemsional Research Agenda for the 2020s.” American Journal of Public Health. 110(9): 1328-1331. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2020.305782

2019. John Green, Jim Worstell, Caroline Canarios, Rachel Haggard, Katrina Alford, and Sydney Bush. “Exploring the Relationships between Local Agrifood System Resilience, Multiple Measures of Development, and Health in the Southern United States.” Community Development 50(2). doi: 10.1080/15575330.2018.1527778

2017. (released in 2019) Caroline Canarios, John Green, Sannie Snell, Emily Tuberville, & Mobolaji Famuyide. “Factors Influencing Mothers with High-Risk Pregnancies and Babies at High-Risk: Exploratory Analysis from Mississippi and Implications for Breastfeeding Support.” Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association. 53(10,11,12): 254-257.

2016. Joseph Holland, John Green, Molly Phillips, & Laura Alexander. “School Health Policies: Evidence-Based Programs for Policy Implementation.” Journal of Policy Practice 15 (4): 314-332. doi:10.1080/15588742.2015.1081580

2014. Katie Kerstetter & John Green. “Fundamental Causes of Health Disparities: Associations Between Adverse Socioeconomic Resources and Multiple Measures of Health.” In J. Jacobs Kronenfeld (ed.), Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Volume 32. Emerald. doi:10.1108/S0275-495920140000032022

2013. John Green & Debarashmi Mitra. “Intersections of Development, Poverty, Race, and Space in the Mississippi Delta in the Era of Globalization: Implications for Gender-Based Health Issues.” In Kevin Fitzpatrick (ed.), Poverty and Health in America. Praeger Publishers.

2011. Alexander Freiman, JoLynn Montgomery, John Green, Dana Thomas, Anna Kleiner, and Matthew Boulton. “Did H1N1 Influenza Prevention Messages Reach the Vulnerable Population Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast?” Journal of Public Health Management and Practice 17 (1): 52-58. doi:10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181fb8002

Research Methods

2017. “Community Development in the Era of Large-Scale Data: Integrating Quantitative Data and Community Engagement.” In S. Kenny, B. McGrath, & R. Phillips (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Community Development. Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

2012. “Who Counts Reality and Why it Counts: Searching for a Community-Based Approach to Quantitative Inquiry.” Journal of Rural Social Sciences 27 (2):137-149. JRSS. 2012.27.2.137-149.pdf

2012. Anna Kleiner, Katie Kerstetter, and John Green. “Community-Based Research: Analysis of Outcomes for Learning and Social Change” (Introductory Essay to a Special Issue). Journal of Rural Social Sciences 27 (2):1-11. JRSS.2012.27.2.1-11.pdf