|Soc 1101||Introduction to Sociology|
|Soc 5010||Basic Problems in Sociology I|
|Soc 6480||Social Microsequences|
Professor Cornwell's research focuses primarily on social networks of individuals and organizations. Most of his work explores the implications of networks for individual and organizational outcomes, the production of social capital, and the reproduction of social stratification. He has documented the central role of social network structure in a wide variety of processes, including delinquent behavior like selling drugs, risky sex practices, sexual health, adolescent depression, the flow of credit in early American religious sects, informal access to expertise, and the decentralization of unions in the American community.
At the same time, he continues to document factors that shape the structure and composition of social networks - including status characteristics such as age, race, gender, and social class, occupational factors like nonstandard work schedules, and life-course experiences such as retirement. He is also adapting the social network perspective to examine factors that determine individuals' rates and sequences of microsocial contact and community activities within bounded time periods.
His ongoing work with the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health, focuses on characterizing how social networks change in the context of life transitions. In one strand of work with these data, he is building a critique of research that studies the effects of social networks on health but ignores the reciprocal influences of health and life-course experiences on individuals' networks. His research on the dynamic nature of social networks in later life has been covered in dozens of media outlets, including CNN, The Huffington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He has also discussed this work on several radio talk shows, and appeared live on "Chicago Tonight."
The following is a list of some recent publications. A complete list is available here.
Cornwell, Benjamin. 2012. “Spousal Network Overlap as a Basis for Spousal Support.” Journal of Marriage and Family 74:229-38.
Cornwell, Benjamin. 2011. “Age Trends in Daily Social Contact Patterns.” Research on Aging 33:598-631.
Cornwell, Benjamin. 2011. “Unemployment and Widespread Influenza in America, 1999-2010.” Forthcoming in Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.
Cornwell, Benjamin, and Edward O. Laumann. 2011. “Network Position and Sexual Dysfunction: Implications of Partner Betweenness for Men.” American Journal of Sociology 117:172-208.
Cornwell, Benjamin. 2009. “Good Health and the Bridging of Structural Holes.” Social Networks 31:92-103.
York, Erin, and Benjamin Cornwell. 2008. “Access to Expertise as a Form of Social Capital: An Examination of Race- and Class-Based Disparities in Network Ties to Experts.” Sociological Perspectives 51:853-76.
Cornwell, Benjamin, Edward O. Laumann, and L. Philip Schumm. 2008. “The Social Connectedness of Older Adults: A National Profile.” American Sociological Review 73:185-203.
Cornwell, Benjamin. 2007. “The Protestant Sect Credit Machine: Social Capital and the Rise of Capitalism.” Journal of Classical Sociology 7:267-90.
Cornwell, Benjamin, and Jill Ann Harrison. 2004. “Union Members and Voluntary Associations: Membership Overlap as a Case of Organizational Embeddedness.” American Sociological Review69:862-81.