School of Social Work

David Wagner, Ph.D., MSW

Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Sociology

Office Location




Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Sociology, City University of New York
  • M.A., Labor Studies, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • M.S.W., Social Work, Columbia University
  • B.A., History, Columbia University


David was a professor at the School of Social work from 1988-2016 and is now retired in Long Beach, CA. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, a Labor Studies Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the City University of New York.

Recent Publications

David Wagner is the author of nine books including Checkerboard Square: Culture and Resistance in a Homeless Community which won the C. Wright Mills award; The New Temperance: America's Obsession with Sin and Vice; What's Love got to do with it? A Critical Look at American Charity; The Poorhouse: America's Forgotten Institution; Confronting Homelessness: Poverty, Politics, and the Failure of Social Policy; and Unlikely Fame: Poor People who made History. Professor Wagner is involved in two book projects one entitled Ex Homeless which studies formerly homeless people in four cities, and Poverty and Welfare in America: Examining the Facts with ABC-CLIO publishers.