Department of Behavioral Sciences

David L. Derossett

David L. DerossettAssistant Professor of Sociology

(417) 873-7270
Office: Pearsons Hall 201

Dr. Derossett began his current faculty position at Drury in the fall of 2010, but actually has an extended history with the university.  He completed a bachelor degree in sociology from Drury ‘College’ in 1990 before finishing an M.A. in sociology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 1997.  He joined Drury’s Office of Admission as the first official Transfer Coordinator in 2002 and helped establish transfer guidelines and relationships with transfer institutions and oversaw a marked increase in the number of transfer students to the university.  He periodically taught courses in sociology and Drury’s Global Studies core curriculum during this time and began serving as a full-time visiting instructor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences in the fall of 2006.  

Dr. Derossett’s areas of research and teaching experience include urban sociology, globalization, political and economic institutions, culture and identity, work and occupations, and social theory.   At Drury he teaches a variety of courses, including Development of Social Theory, Global Social Problems, Community Studies, Social Movements, Juvenile Delinquency, and courses in Drury’s Global Studies core curriculum, including Global Futures.

Dr. Derossett’s current research focuses on sociological factors in urbanization (origins of cities and the process of city building) and urbanism (the ways of life found in the urban community).  His three part doctoral dissertation research integrated these interests addressing how broader political-economic factors combine with local urban culture (1) to spatially structure the impact of the current U.S. housing crisis (2) to shape urban social contestation on land-use decisions (3) to produce and reproduce patterns of spatial consumption in tourist cities. 

These projects share an analysis of how the global spread of neoliberalization (characterized, for example, by efforts to eliminate local and national policies that protect workers, the environment, animals, etc. portrayed as a hindrance to free trade, privatize industry and services, commodify space, cut social welfare programs, and transfer global economic regulation to non-democratic bodies like the World Trade Organization) is locally constituted in urban centers.  The first theme includes a comparative-historical analysis of a collection of cities in the U.S. which represent distinct spatial manifestations of political, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to an explanation of why the crisis has been experienced unevenly both among and within cities.  The remaining parts feature comprehensive case studies of Branson, Missouri, a nationally recognized tourist city located just 30 minutes south of Springfield.  Branson is of interest in part because it provides a relatively unique opportunity to study how urban space is locally produced as a commodity and then ‘packaged, branded, and marketed,’ not unlike other products, for the express purpose of tourist consumption.  This process in larger tourist cities tends to be more complex and contested, so Branson can serve as an ‘ideal-type’ for research about the impact of local culture and urban governance. 

Dr. Derossett has worked to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration at Drury, particularly between the Hammons School of Architecture and the Department of Behavioral Sciences.  He has served each semester since 2010 as an outside evaluator for architecture student thesis reviews, given talks in a variety of classes at the Hammons School on urban demographics, urban ethnography and spatial semiotics, and urbanization and has fostered linkages for architecture students who take the Community Studies course, drawing together the fields of urban planning and urban sociology.          

B.A., Drury University, 1990
M.A., University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 1997
Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia, 2012

Drury University faculty member since 2010
Assistant Professor since 2012