Paul Prew

Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Dr. Prew is a local Midwesterner, living most of his life a mere four hours drive from Mankato. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he received his Masters in Sociology from MSU-Mankato when it was still Mankato State University. Dr. Prew returned to teach at MSU-Mankato after his PhD program at the University of Oregon where he specialized in environment, Marxist theory and labor studies.

Contact Information

Email :

Website :

Phone : (507)389 - 5674

Office : 222K Morris Hall


Professor Prew's Interests


Scholarly and Personal Interests 

Since arriving in Mankato, he published portions of his thesis analyzing a nation’s role in the world-economy and its environmental degradation (World-Economy Centrality and Carbon Dioxide Emissions: A New Look at the Position in the Capitalist World-System and Environmental Pollution). While he continues his interest in the environment, he has also turned his attention to issues related to teaching difficult subjects. He collaborated with students and another faculty to publish an article about critical sociology in the classroom (The Consequences of Teaching Critical Sociology on Course Evaluations). To reach people outside of a strictly academic audience, the research was intentionally published in an open access journal for everyone to read.

You may see Dr. Prew riding his bicycle up Warren hill on his way to class, listening to his collection of blues, alt country, metal, classic country, punk, southern rock and whatever else he happens to come across. Aside from enjoying a little exercise on the way to school, Dr. Prew likes to travel, especially cross-country motorcycle rides to visit friends and see the scenery. He is also known to attend a protest or two and was in Seattle for the 1999 protest against the World Trade Organization. Locally, Dr. Prew applies his expertise working with the Living Earth Center and the Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative.



Dr. Prew is dedicated to activism in the everyday. While these types of activism (bystander intervention, proactively defending people who are discriminated against, etc.) are not very visible, they are meant to change institutions from within and create better outcomes in the long run. This creates two reactions from people around you. Some call upon you to participate in conversations about these issues (as in the video below). Others engage in retaliatory and bullying behavior (see the DARVO model for example). An unfortunate but necessary part of social movement activism is the stress and challenge of being pushed to the margins by the perpetrators (who may be respected in certain circles because most discrimination takes place through unrecognized implicit bias and behind closed doors). No one wants to believe that their friends, or themselves, discriminate. But, they do. To point it out, however, risks retaliation and threats to employment. If one is truly committed to social justice, they fight through these challenges.