• Research Professor
Joint Appointment
Professor of Sociology Emerita, Northwestern University 
Ph.D., University of Chicago
M.A., University of Chicago
B.A., Reed College

Carol A. Heimer

  • Research Professor
ABF Researcher

Carol A. Heimer is a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation and a Professor of Sociology Emerita at Northwestern University, where she teaches courses in law, medicine, and qualitative research methods in sociology. A recipient of the Ver Steeg Award for outstanding work with graduate students, she has held appointments as a Visiting Fellow in the Program in Law and Public Affairs at Princeton University and as a Visiting Lecturer at the University KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. 

Heimer’s books include For the Sake of the Children (University of Chicago Press, 1998), coauthored with Lisa R. Staffen and a winner of both the Theory Prize and Section on Medical Sociology’s Eliot Freidson Outstanding Publication Award of the American Sociological Association, and Reactive Risk and Rational Action (University of California Press, 2020). She has also published extensively in edited volumes and journals, including the British Journal  

Heimer’s new book, tentatively titled The Legal Transformation of Medicine, is a comparative study of the “legalization” of American medicine and the broad impact on the role of law in medicine, drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in HIV/AIDS clinics in the United States, Uganda, South Africa, and Thailand. 

Research Focus

Sociology of law, medical sociology and healthcare, relationship between law and other systems of rules and norms, and sociological theory