Willa Sachs

Willa Sachs's picture
B.A. Kenyon College, 2016
M.A., Sociology, Yale University, 2021
Areas of Interest: 
Law & Society; Social Movements; Cultural Sociology; Racial Politics

Willa Sachs is a PhD candidate in Sociology and Junior Fellow at the Yale Center for Cultural Sociology. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Kenyon College in 2016. Prior to attending Yale, she worked at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, coordinating the production of the socio-legal journal Law & Social Inquiry.

Her research broadly centers on how legal idioms and ideologies shape social movement activists’ discursive practices, objectives, identities, and understandings of justice. Her dissertation examines the relationship between political trials and the production of legal consciousness through an analysis of four high-profile criminal trials involving the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and 1970s. A related research project examines the role of American constitutional thought in the ideological agenda and framing strategies of the Black Panther Party from 1969 to 1971.

She has recently published an article with Jeffrey C. Alexander that examines the role of social movements as a mediating force between public opinion and presidential politics, using American second-wave feminism as a case study.


Sachs, Willa and Jeffrey C. Alexander. “Presidential versus Civil Power: Public Opinion, Second-Wave Feminism, and Party Politics in the U.S., 1969-1989.” Cultural Sociology (Forthcoming)