David Fasenfest

David Fasenfest

Associate Professor


313-577-2735 (fax)


 3229 FAB

Curriculum vitae



David Fasenfest



Dr. Fasenfest received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1984. His research interests center on urban sociology, race/class/gender, labor markets and workforce development, income inequality, and community economic development. During his 23 years as an Associate Professor at Wayne State University Dr Fasenfest has received several WSU internal grants and almost $5 million in external funding, has produced 5 edited volumes, written 29 refereed book chapters, 28 refereed journal articles, contributed 40 essays to academic journals, and has written entries in academic Handbooks and Encyclopedia. For the past 20 years he has edited of the journal Critical Sociology (SAGE UK, Impact Factor of 1.883; 5-year Impact Factor of 2.682), in 2000 was the founding editor for the book series Studies in Critical Social Sciences (published by Brill NL, with 220 books in print and 53 manuscripts under contract), and in July 2019 became the founding co-editor (with Alfredo Saad Filho, King’s College London) of the series New Scholarship in Political Economy to promote innovative scholarship by new PhDs and early career scholars (also published by Brill, with 14 books in print and 21 manuscripts under contract). In addition to his general efforts to disseminate critical scholarship, for the past 4years he provides guidance and support to new PhDs and early career scholars through workshops on how to succeed in academic publishing given at institutes and universities in Japan, China, England and Germany.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  •  Urban Sociology
  •  Critical Sociology
  •  Marxist Sociology


David Fasenfest has been active internationally in the past five years. He has presented the following at virtual conferences in Russia and China: “On a Socialist Transition” presented at Why the USSR Has Gone: Lessons for the Future of Socialism, International Conference, Center for Modern Marist Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University, St. Petersburg, August 20-21, 2021; “Marx and Modernization: A Critical Evaluation” presented at The 3rd World Marxism Conference, Peking University, Beijing, July 17-18, 2021; “Limits of Technology Led Development” presented at Global Transformation of Modern Society and National Development Goals of Russia, III Moscow Academic Economic Forum, Moscow Academic Economic Forum and the Free Economic Society of Russia, Moscow, May 26-27, 2021;   “Engels an​d the Reduction of Global Poverty,” VI Saint Petersburg Economic Congress (SPEC-2020), S.Y. Witte Institute for New Industrial Development, Free Economic Society of Russia, St Petersburg, December 4; “What is to be Undone: How to improve the conditions of the working class,” International Forum on Engels and the Science of the XXI Century, Center for Modern Marxist Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian National Library, Free Economic Society of Russia, Moscow, Nov 28; and “Global Poverty: A Marxian Analysis,” International Conference on Marxism and Anti-poverty of Mankind, Special Session on Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of Engels's Birth & the 150th Anniversary of Lenin's Birth, School of Marxism, Peking University, Beijing November 27. Over the past three years he has received a grant from the Institute of Social Theory and Dynamics, Hiroshima, Japan, to organize and participate in a 3 day workshop on the political economy of Japanese capitalism, Tokyo December 2019.  He received a grant from the Norwegian Research Council to participate in a workshop at the Norwegian National Technical University to present his work on constructing the research object, Trondheim October 2018. He was invited to participate in the Second World Congress on Marxism, Peiking University, Beijing May 2018. His work on research methods and proposal development was the focus of a grant from Shanghai University to participate in a 5 days seminar, Shanghai May 2017.  He continues to be invited to universities to offer workshops to graduate and early career scholars on academic publishing (most recently SOAS, London 2018; Shanghai University Shanghai 2018; King's College London 2019; University of Eastern London 2020; Loughborough University London 2020).


  • Ph.D. (Sociology) August, 1984, University of Michigan
  • M.A. (Sociology) May, 1982, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.A. (Chinese Studies) May, 1979, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.A. (Economics) May, 1978, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A. (Economics) June, 1971, City College of CUNY, New York

Awards and grants

  •  Lifetime Acheivement Award, Marxist Section, American Sociological Association, 2017

  •  Grants since 2000

    Workshop: A Critical Assessment of Japanese Society, Institute for Social Theory and Dynamics, Hiroshima, Japan, December 20-23, $7,500


    Fifty Years Since 1968: A reflection on social protest globally, Institute for Global Studies, Shanghai University, November 30-Deember 1 $4,000

    Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Seminar: “Constructing the Research Object in Social Research,” Trondheim, Norway, October 10-13 $3,500

    Second World Congress on Marxism, Peking University and the School of Marxism, Beijing, China, 5-6 May $4,000

    Seminar on Preparing Graduate Students for Research and Publication, Shanghai University, China, May $7.500

    Seminar on Research Methods and Proposal Development, Shanghai University, China $5,000

    Workshop on Academic Publishing, Shanghai University, China $4,500

    Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Centre Universitaire de Norvège à Paris, CUNP - Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, “Sociological Theory and Practice Revisited,” Paris, France, September 20-25 $7.500

    Michigan Emergency Managers: Processes, Practices and Performance, Michigan ACLU $25,000

    RCN-SEES: Sustainable Manufacturing Advances in Research and Technology (SMART) Coordination Network, (Co-PI/Steering Committee Member), National Science Foundation SEES, (Award Abstract #1140000) $721,800

    Input/Output Analysis of Labor Contribution and Educational Attainment in Gross National Production, Center for Education and Work, Georgetown University, (Contract RX 2462-477-DF) $35,000

    Leveraging Partnerships to Sustain and Grow Tier-One Automotive Jobs in Michigan, MEDC and contributing corporate partners, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Manufacturing Competitiveness Program, Job Training Grant, , (Grant # 04-1278, UAW Tier 1 Consortium) $600,000

    Supporting Female Prisoners Post-Release, for Women ARISE/Project PROVE, Hudson-Webber Foundation $300,000

    Implementing Employment Training in State Prisons through Distance Learning: A Pilot Program (continuation funding, Year 2), Hudson-Webber Foundation $100,000

    Judicial Oversight Demonstration Project Impact Evaluation Survey, Urban Institute, Washington, DC $842,000

    New Economy Employment in an Old Economy Region: A Study of Temporary Employment in Southeastern Michigan, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research $63,480

    Implementing Employment Training In State Prisons through Distance Learning: A Pilot Program, Hudson-Webber Foundation $150,000

    Evaluation of the Economic Adjustment Program, Economic Development Administration, Department of Commerce $299,262

    Adult Prisoner Education Environmental Scan and Impact Assessment, Michigan Department of Corrections $101,757

    Adult Prison Education Pilot Development, Hudson-Webber Foundation $43,200

    Statewide Household Survey on Workforce Issues, Regional Workforce Development Boards $125,991

    Evaluation of the national planning and implementation process of the EDA program for local economic development, US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration $209,000

    Environmental Scan and Strategic Plan of Workforce Development, and a survey of households assessing workforce experience and labor supply, City of Detroit, Employment and Training Department $165,059

Selected publications

**NEW** Marx Matters (ed.) Leiden: Brill

***Forthcoming publications include:

The Emergence of Critical Sociology, in Clyde W. Barrow (ed) Encyclopedia of Critical Political Science, London: Edward Elgar Publishing

Marxism or Economic Sociology, in Milan Zafirovski (ed.) Handbook of Economic Sociology, New York: Routledge

Fallacies of Neoclassical Economic Knowledge, in Fran Collyer (ed) Research Handbook for the Sociology of Knowledge, London: Edward Elgar Publishing

海外全球学研究期刊的梳理与介绍 (Introduction to Global Research Journals), with Xiaoxiao Xie, Chinese Global Studies Review, Shanghai University, China

Megacities, in George Ritzer (ed). Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd Edition, London: John Wiley & Sons

Sociology, (with Graham Cassano) in Beverley Skeggs, Sara R. Farris, and Alberto Toscano (eds) Handbook of Marxism, London: Sage

Global Poverty: A Marxian Analysis, (with Alfredo Saad-Filho) in ВОПРОСЫ
(Problems in Political Economy), Moscow: Institute of Economics, Russian Academy of Sciences

Currently teaching


Sociology 1020: Social Problems

FALL 2021:

Sociology 1020: Social Problems

Sociology 3050: Sociological Theory


Courses taught

Sociology 1020 Social Problems; Sociology 6050 Classical Theory; Sociology 3220 Social Statistics; Sociology 3050 Sociological Theory; Sociology 2300 Inequality; Sociology 6280 Graduate Statistics; Sociology 6060 Contemporary Theory; Sociology 2100 Detroit; Sociology 8802 Urban Sociology; Sociology 5570 Race