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Dr. Joseph Kotarba

Dr. Joseph Kotarba

Dr. Joseph A. Kotarba is a professor of sociology at Texas State University. He joined Texas State in 2010, after serving as chair of sociology at the University of Houston. Dr. Kotarba established the Center for Social Inquiry in sociology, and has served as its director for six years. His research and teaching are in the sociology of everyday life, which examines the ways people seek meaning for life and life’s problems through their group memberships and social activities.  Symbolic interactionist, phenomenological, postmodern and existential theories inform Dr. Kotarba’s work. Qualitative and interpretive methods are his primary research styles. Dr. Kotarba supervises many projects that demonstrate how sociology can contribute both to our basic understanding of society and to policies that help to make society better. The following is a selected list of his current and recent research projects:

  • Translational medical research and the changing role of the scientist (sponsored by the Institute for Translational Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston)
  • A comparative study of European and North American music experiences among the elderly (sponsored by the Fulbright Awards Program and the Department of Sociology at Uppsala University in Sweden)
  • Veterans’ social and medical service seeds (sponsored by the Texas Veterans Commission)
  • The effectiveness of the 2-1-1 helpline in Texas (sponsored by the Department of Housing and Community Development, State of Texas)
  • Designing the future of the Wimberley Community Library (sponsored by the Wimberley Community Library Board)
  • An interdisciplinary study of the impact of mindfulness meditation on the listening experience of violent music (sponsored by the Center for Social Inquiry)

Contact Information

Office: UAC 466
Phone: 512.245.8905
Cell: 512.618.3552

Winner of the 2014 Charles Horton Cooley Award for Best Book, from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction:

Baby Boomer Rock ‘n’ Roll Fans: The Music Never Ends.
Rowman & Littlefield, 2013

Available at:

Amazon Books
Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Vanderbilt Square, Houston, Texas     
Book People, Austin, Texas     
Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Texas    
Rowman & Littlefield     

Dr. Kotarba's CV

Dr. Kotarba's Family