Vincent N. Parrillo

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Vincent N. Parrillo (born 1938) is a professor of sociology at William Paterson University. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Liège, Belgium (2010), the University of Pisa, Italy (2006 and 1998), and Roehampton University, London (2005). As a Fulbright scholar in the Czech Republic in 2000, he lectured at Charles University (Prague) and Palacký University (Olomouc).

He is the executive producer and writer of four award- winning PBS television documentaries: "Paterson and Its People" (2015),Gaetano Federici: The Sculptor Laureate of Paterson (2013), Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson (1992), and Ellis Island: Gateway to America (1991). He is the author of eight books, editor of three others, and General Editor of the two-volume, multidisciplinary Encyclopedia of Social Problems (Sage, 2008). His scholarly articles and essays have appeared in such journals as Sociological Forum, Social Science Journal, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, and Small Group Behavior, and his various writings have been published in one of eight languages (Chinese, Czech, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Romanian). He served as Vice President of the Eastern Sociological Society in 2008-2009, and was honored as its Robin M. Williams, Jr. Distinguished Lecturer for 2005-2006.

Parrillo coined the term Dillingham Flaw, which refers to inaccurate comparisons of immigrants—whether in the past, present, or future—that are based on simplistic categorizations and anachronistic observations.[1] He is also the principal investigator and senior author of two of the largest national studies ever conducted on social distance.[2]

Parrillo has gone on numerous assignments for the State Department's former U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and current Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) to give public lectures and to confer with national leaders in Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, and Sweden on issues relating to immigration and intergroup tensions. He has conducted numerous diversity training sessions for various corporations and for NCOs and senior army officers at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) at Patrick Air Force Base (Florida) and at various military bases.

An invited lecturer to dozens of universities in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States in recent years, he has also been the keynote speaker at international conferences in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Korea, Poland, and Romania. In October 2001, his keynote speech, "The Challenge for Educators", given at a U.S. bilingual educators conference, was published in Vital Speeches of the Day.[3]

In 2003, he directed a cast of Broadway professionals (including several Tony Award nominees) in a staged reading of the rock opera Hamlet (he is co-lyricist) at the Lamb's Theatre in New York City.[4] In 2005 he co-produced its world premiere in Prague. In October 2007, the show premiered in Seoul to rave reviews and enthusiastic audience responses.[5]

In 2011, he published a novel about Ellis Island in the 1890s and the people who work there, called Guardians of the Gate. Its sequel, [1]"Defenders of Freedom" came out in 2015.


  1. ^ Parrillo, Vincent N., "Diversity in America: A Sociohistorical Analysis," Sociological Forum 9:4 (1994): 523-45
  2. ^ Parrillo, Vincent N., and Christopher Donoghue, "The National Social Distance Study: Ten Years later," Sociological Forum 28:3 (2013) and "Updating the Bogardus Social Distance Studies: A New National Survey," Social Science Journal 42:2 (2005): 257-71
  3. ^ Parrillo, Vincent N., "A Challenge for Educators," Vital Speeches of the Day 68:1 (October 15, 2001): 19-25
  4. ^ Jack Shelby, “Hamlet Tickets,” accessed at
  5. ^ “Hamlet: The Rock Opera,” accessed at

Defenders of Freedom (, 2015)

Guardians of the Gate: A Novel (iUniverse, 2011)

Strangers to These Shores 11th ed. (Allyn & Bacon, 2014)

Understanding Race and Ethnic Relations 4th ed. (Allyn & Bacon, 2011; Korean translation 2010)

Cities and Urban Life 6th ed. with John Macionis (Prentice-Hall, 2012)

Diversity in America 4th ed. (Paradigm Publishers, 2012; Italian translation, 2008)

Contemporary Social Problems 6th ed. (Allyn & Bacon, 2005; Chinese translation, 2005)

William Paterson University (Arcadia, 2005)

Ridgewood, with Elizabeth B. Parrillo and Arthur Wrubel (Arcadia, 1999)

• Editor, Uncertainty and Insecurity in the New Age (Calandra, 2009)

• Editor, Millennium Haze: Comparative Inquiries About Society, State and Community (FrancoAngeli, 2000)

• Editor, Rethinking Today's Minorities (Greenwood Press, 1991)

• General Editor. Encyclopedia of Social Problems, Vol. 1 and 2 (Sage, 2008).

External links[edit]

  • "Vincent N. Parrillo" [2]

Smokestacks and Steeples: A Portrait of Paterson [3]

Ellis Island: Gateway to America [4]