Brian Miller, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology
On Faculty since 2009

Phone: (630)752-5117


Ph.D. Sociology, 2009, “Not All Suburbs Are Created Equal: The Dynamic Development, Interaction, and Character of Three Chicago Railroad Suburbs,” University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

M.A. Sociology, 2006, “Redeveloping the Cabrini-Green Housing Project: A Sociological Perspective, 1989-2004,” University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

B.A. Sociology, Anthropology, 2004, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

About Brian Miller

Dr. Miller’s sociological interests include American suburbs (particularly their development, culture, and housing) and cities, culture, mixed-income housing developments, McMansions, social network site use among emerging adults, and American evangelicalism and culture. Dr. Miller and his wife, Karen, live in Warrenville. His hobbies include watching the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and Chicago Bulls, playing the piano, playing basketball, reading all sorts of non-fiction works, and blogging about his sociological interests and observations at

Dr. Miller's CV.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology (Soc 115)
  • Contemporary Social Concerns (Soc 238)
  • Culture, Media, and Society (Soc 251)
  • American Suburbanization (Soc 359)
  • Urban Sociology (Soc 364)
  • Statistics (Soc 383)
  • Social Research (Soc 482)

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Sociological Association
  • Alpha Kappa Delta, national honor society for sociology students


Dr. Miller is working on projects that examine (1) the portrayal of suburbs and McMansions on television and (2) the connections between American evangelicals and suburbs.


Miller, Brian J. and Peter Mundey. Forthcoming. “Performing Boundary Work to Avoid Negative Interactions When Using Social Network Sites.” Information, Communication, and Society.

Miller, Brian J. 2014. “Suburban America.” Pp. 844-849 in American Immigration: An Encyclopedia of Political, Social, and Cultural Change, Second Edition, edited by James Ciment and John Radzilowski. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference. 

Miller, Brian J. 2013. “Not All Suburbs are the Same: The Role of Character in Shaping Growth and Development in Three Chicago Suburbs.” Urban Affairs Review 49(5): 652-677.

Miller, Brian J., Peter Mundey, and Jonathan P. Hill. 2013. “Faith in the Age of Facebook: Exploring the Links Between Religion and Social Network Site Membership and Use.” Sociology of Religion 74(2):227-253.

Miller, Brian J. 2012. “Competing Visions of the American Single Family Home: Defining McMansions in the New York Times and Dallas Morning News, 2000-2009." Journal of Urban History 38(6):1094-1113.

Miller, Brian J. 2008. "The Struggle Over Redevelopment at Cabrini-Green, 1989-2004." Journal of Urban History 34(6):944-960.


Miller, Brian J. August 2014. From Father Knows Best to Desperate Housewives: Suburban Television Shows, 1950-2007. American Sociological Association meetings, San Francisco. 

Miller, Brian J. and Peter Mundey. August 2013. Follow the Informal rules to Limit Harm: Avoiding Negative Interactions When Using Social Network Sites. American Sociological Association meetings, New York City.

Miller, Brian J. August 2012. The Holy Suburbs: The Suburban Spatial Logic of American Evangelicals. American Sociological Association meetings, Denver. 

Miller, Brian J., Peter Mundey, Jonathan P. Hill. October 2011. Reading the Writing on the Wall: How Bible Reading Affects SNS Use Among Emerging Adults. Society for the Scientific Study of Religion meetings, Milwaukee.

Miller, Brian J., Peter Mundey, Jonathan P. Hill. August 2011. The Nexus between Sitting in the Pews and Using Facebook: How Religion Affects SNS Use. American Sociological Association meetings, Las Vegas.

Miller, Brian J. August 2010. Not All Suburbs Are the Same: Examining Suburban Character. American Sociological Association meetings, Atlanta.

Miller, Brian J. August 2009. A Two-Edged Sword: The Dynamic and Occasionally Surprising Religious Character of a Chicago Suburb. American Sociological Association meetings, San Francisco.

Media Citations, Unrefereed Publications 

Umberger, Mary. 2012. “McMansions: What’s the big deal?” Chicago Tribune, posted online 5/11/12 at,0,4953030.column.

Tomaso, Bruce. 2012. “Is that house down the street a ‘McMansion’? Depends on whom you ask.” Dallas Morning News, posted online 4/24/12 at 

Berg, Nate. 2012. “The Widely Variable Definition of ‘McMansion.’” The Atlantic Cities, posted online 4/20/12 at

Sanserino, Michael. 2012. “Tim Tebow's gridiron faith sparks praise, comedic bits and criticism.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, posted online 1/8/12 at

Loza, Cyndi. 2010. “Local woman goes on national tour to promote book about race.” Glen Ellyn News, posted online 5/9/10 at topstories/x2084235434/Local-woman-goes-on-national-tour-to-promote-book-about-race.

Miller, Brian J. “The Dynamic Development, Interaction and Character of Three Chicago Suburbs.” CUSS Newsletter Winter 2010 22(1):12.