My sociological research examines the interaction between social forces and human emotion, thought, and learning. I am interested in how social institutions shape what people feel, pay attention to, and imagine possible -- and in turn, how this shapes the nature of societal cohesion and advancement. My work engages with settings in the knowledge economy. I am currently working on various research projects and teach courses that explore key questions.
What is Innovation...To You?
This project seeks to develop an empirical understanding of the systems underlying concepts like entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, innovator, innovation, intrapreneur, and changemaker. The study mobilizes multiple research methods, with surveys, interviews, and ethnography across a sampling of locations in the United States and abroad.
Learning in the Knowledge Economy
Most recently and as a fellow with the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), I helped to guide a national experts panel funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, working with faculty from five diverse fields (biology, business, history, sociology, economics), to begin to understand future directions for undergraduate education. In this research, I explore how learning is organized in universities.
Wall Street Professionals and Their Firms
In this project, I study how Wall Street professionals constructed ideas of value, commitment, and meaning in the context of market volatility during the financial crisis of 2008. I conducted original interviews and ethnography with finance professionals in New York City during the height of the crisis (March 2008-January 2009). This work is forthcoming as a book with Harvard University Press.