Kristopher Kohler

Visiting Lecturer

I am native Californian who has taught at every level of the California educational system (UC, CSU and community colleges). I have a passion for teaching theory, social change and transnational/ global sociology. This is at least partly because I have lived, worked and researched in more than 20 different countries (mostly in Africa and the Caribbean), including study abroad at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (Barbados) and service in the US Peace Corps (Zambia) as a rural health volunteer. Prior to those adventures, I completed my B.A. in Political Science and Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I have recently completed my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego. My dissertation, entitled “Overcoming ‘Other-ness’: A Comparative Analysis of Transnational Activist Collective Identity Formation among World Social Forum Activists and HIV/AIDS Healthworkers” explores the intersection of activist identities and transnational identities amongst a diverse array of global social justice activists. My findings demonstrate the centrality of emotion-laden cultural processes in overcoming the barriers to transnational activist collective identity formation.

My current research projects include; 1) investigations into the life trajectories of transnational activists and networks at the World Social Forum, 2) an exploration of the unintended, de-politicizing, consequences of increased HIV/AIDS funding in Southern Africa and, 3) the role of culture and emotion in generating social movement activity and sustaining social movement cohesion. My work has earned numerous grants including the Institute for International, Comparative, and Area Studies (IICAS) and the Friends of the International Center (UCSD).

As a teacher, I challenge my students to be better writers, speakers and critical thinkers. My goal is to nurture the development of an active, engaged, citizenry for the present and future. In my spare time, I enjoy sports, travel and time with my family.


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 2012
  • M.A., Sociology, University of California, San Diego, 2004
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1996

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Global/ Transnational Sociology
  • Political Economy of Development
  • Political Sociology
  • Global Health Inequities
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Social and Political Theory

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Social Change
  • Social Inequality
  • Classical Social Theory
  • Contemporary Social Theory
  • Globalization
  • Law and Society
  • African Society Through Film

Professional Membership

  • Pacific Sociological Association
  • American Sociology Association
  • California Faculty Association

Contact Information

Building Location: Bizzini Hall 
See Building #2: Map

Office Location: C 207C

Phone: (209) 667-3464