Cultural Sociology, Political Sociology, Social Movements, Social Psychology, Sociology of Religion, Theory
Isaac’s dissertation, “COVID-19 and Partisan Boundary-Setting in Conditions of Uncertainty”, explores 2020 US congressional and gubernatorial candidates’ invocations of partisan values and identities and local and national interests as they communicate and justify their decisions on Twitter and thus construct the emerging pandemic as a political issue. His dissertation uses qualitative coding of a small sample of cases to build a dictionary for computational analysis of the entire population of candidates in the 2020 US election. Isaac's ancillary projects include (among others) an examination of the differences between collective memory in publics and the construction of intellectual traditions within sociology with an eye toward improving sociology's engagement in the public sphere, as well as an exploration of the debate over the New York Times' The 1619 Project and what it reveals about the role of collective memory in boundary-work in the contemporary US political field. Each of these projects reflects Isaac's overarching research agenda: understanding the dialectic between formally codified knowledges and widely held cultural schemas, mediated by identities, communication infrastructures, and power dynamics.
Isaac holds an MA in sociology from Notre Dame and a BA in philosophy from Catholic University of America. He anticipates finishing his PhD in 2022.