David Schweingruber


David Schweingruber is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University. His research, in the symbolic interactionist tradition, is concerned with the cultural and cognitive premises that guide social behavior in a variety of settings, including formal organizations, political demonstrations and romantic events. He is currently conducting a study of Christian faculty members at public universities.


He regularly teaches large sections of Introduction of Sociology.

Schweingruber received his Ph.D. in sociology in 1999 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he wrote a dissertation on the training and organization of door-to-door salespersons.

A native of Bluffton, Ohio, Schweingruber graduated from Bluffton High School ('86) and Bluffton College ('90). He received his master's degree in sociology from the University of Illinois in 1993.

Schweingruber and his wife, Nancy Berns, live in Ames, Iowa, where they are members of Trinity Christian Reformed Church. Nancy is a professor of sociology at Drake University. She is the author of Framing the Victim: Domestic Violence, Media and Social Problems (Aldine) and Closure: The Rush to End Grief and What It Costs Us (Temple). She blogs at the Closure Blog. They have two daughters, Lydia and Chloe.

David Schweingruber

Department of Sociology

318 East Hall

Ames, Iowa 50011

515 294-4079



Academic Lineage

Undergrad Courses

Introduction to Sociology

Soc 134

  1. Syllabus (S '13)


Social Problems

Soc 235 (on-line)

Syllabus (Sum '13)

Social Dimensions of Religion

Soc/Relig 377

  1. Syllabus {S '09)

Sex & Gender in Society

Soc 327

  1. Syllabus (F '11)

Contemporary Sociological Theories

Soc 401

  1. Syllabus (S '06)

Graduate Courses

Symbolic Interactionism

Soc 698S

  1. Syllabus (F '07)

  2. Reading Guide


Contemporary Sociological Theory

Soc 607

  1. Syllabus (S '13)

Topics in Family: Religion and Its Connections to Family and Gender

Soc 675 (S '07)

  1. Syllabus

Door-to-Door Sales

Schweingruber, David. 2006. “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude? The Role of Positive Thinking in Door-to-Door Sales.” The Sociological Quarterly 47(1):41-68. (PDF)

Schweingruber. David. 2006. “The Why, What and How of Selling Door-to-Door: Levels of Purpose and Perception in a Sales Company.” Chapter 4 in Kent McCelland and Thomas J. Fararo (eds.) Perception, Meaning, and Action: Control Systems Theories in Sociology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (PDF)

Schweingruber, David, and Nancy Berns. 2005. “Shaping the Selves of Young Salespeople through Emotion Management.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 34(6):679-706. (PDF)

Schweingruber, David, and Nancy Berns. 2003. “Doing Money Work in a Door-to-Door Sales Organization.” Symbolic Interaction 26(3):447-471. (PDF)

Sociology Textbooks

Schweingruber, David, and Ron Wohlstein. 2005. “The Madding Crowd Goes to School: Myths about Crowds in Introductory Sociology Textbooks.” Teaching Sociology 33(2): 136-153. (PDF)

Schweingruber, David. 2005. “Looking for the Core in the Wrong Place.” Teaching Sociology 33(1):81-89. (PDF)

Best, Joel, and David Schweingruber. 2003. “First Words: Do Sociologists Actually Use the Terms in Introductory Textbooks’ Glossaries?” The American Sociologist 34(3):97-106. (PDF)

Intimate Relationships

Schweingruber, David, Alicia D. Cast, and Sine Anahita. 2008. “‘A Story and a Ring’: Audience Judgments about Engagement Proposals.” Sex Roles 58:165-178. (PDF)

Berns, Nancy, and David Schweingruber. 2007. “When You’re Involved, It’s Just Different’: Making Sense of Domestic Violence.” Violence Against Women 13(3):240-261. (PDF)

Cast, Alicia D., David Schweingruber and Nancy Berns. 2006. “Childhood Physical Punishment and Problem Solving in Marriage.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 21(2):244-261. (PDF)

Schweingruber, David, Sine Anahita and Nancy Berns. 2004. “‘Popping the Question’ When the Answer is Known: The Engagement Proposal as Performance.” Sociological Focus 37(2):143-161. (PDF)

Crowds, Demonstrations & Riots

Schweingruber, David. 2000. “Mob Sociology and Escalated Force: Sociology's Contribution to Repressive Police Tactics.” The Sociological Quarterly 41(3):371-389. (PDF)

Schweingruber, David, and Clark McPhail. 1999. “A Method for Systematically Observing and Recording Collective Action.” Sociological Methods and Research 27(4):451-498. (PDF)

Tucker, Charles, David Schweingruber and Clark McPhail. 1999. “Simulating Arcs and Rings in Gatherings.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 50:581-588. (PDF)

McPhail, Clark, David Schweingruber and John McCarthy. 1998. “Policing Protest in the United States: 1960-1995.” Pp. 49-69 in della Porta, Donatella and Herbert Reiter (eds.) Policing Protest: The Control of Mass Demonstrations in Western Democracies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. (PDF)

Selected Papers