John Franklin Lofland (born 1936) is an American sociologist best known for his studies of the peace movement and for his first book, Doomsday Cult: A Study of Conversion, Proselytization, and Maintenance of Faith, which was based on field work among a group of Unification Church members in California in the 1960s. It is considered to be one of the most important and widely cited studies of the process of religious conversion, and one of the first modern sociological studies of a new religious movement.Lofland was born in Milford, Delaware, and attended Swarthmore College, Columbia University, and the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a PhD in sociology based on his Unification Church study. Since 1970 he has been a professor in the sociology department at the University of California, Davis, where he is now
Professor of Sociology Emeritus.In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s Lofland did field work among peace demonstrators in the United States and in Europe. He has undertaken administrative roles in several social science associations and contributed as an editor or associate editor to sociological publications. He has also been active in community organizations in Davis, California.
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