Ph.Ds on the Market
Sociology Ph.D.s on the job market:
Laura R. Ford, J.D.
Dissertation: Intellectual Property: A Study in the Formulation and Effects of Legal Culture
Despite its current pervasiveness, intellectual property – a legal category that includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets – has not always existed. My historical and comparative dissertation – which covers England, Germany, France, and the United States, as well as international treaties – shows that intellectual property emerged in the Eighteenth Century, as part of the modern nation-state. The theory of semantic legal ordering that I develop in the dissertation explicates the social process through which cultural understandings and practices rooted in Roman legal traditions have contributed form and meaning to these quintessentially modern institutions. Drawing on contractual sources from the history of the telecommunications industry, and from diplomatic sources connected to intellectual property treaties, I also show how the process of semantic legal ordering has contributed form and meaning to the global expansion of intellectual property through contracts and international treaties. Drawing on Robert Bellah’s theory of cultural traditions, together with Max Weber’s sociology of law and property, I argue that certain experiential characteristics of our modern, globalized economy – the immediacy of electronic exchange, and the radically disembodied way in which that exchange takes place – have been shaped, in very real ways, by legal traditions with deep historical roots, as seen in the case of intellectual property.
Dissertation Title: An Ecological Perspective on Political Violence: The Role of Culture, Networks, and Affiliations
Dissertation Synopsis: The dissertation considers the role that ecology plays in generating politically-motivated violence. The first part considers the role of cultural ecology in the diffusion of suicide bombings, using an event history analysis framework. The second part investigates the phenomenon of self-starter terrorism. Using an agent-based model, grounded in empirical data, the article identifies the mechanisms by which the network ecology promotes and constrains mobilization into self-starter terrorism as well as the manner in which it is carried out. The third part proposes a theoretical framework I term “Blau Status Analysis” and investigates how one’s social networks are influenced by one’s position in the affiliation ecology. This general framework is first validated using the Add Health dataset and then applied to membership rosters of two terrorist groups, showing how affiliation ecology affects recruitment into terrorist organizations.
Committee: Michael W. Macy (Chair), Mabel Berezin, Matthew E. Brashears, Edward J. Lawler
Research Interests: Political Sociology, Social Networks, Terrorism and Political Violence, Sociology of Peace and Conflict
Teaching Interests: Social Network Analysis (Theory and Method); Political Sociology, Peace and Conflict, Crime and Deviance, Introduction to Sociology, Theory (Classic and Modern), Sociology of Science, Research Methods
Matthew D. Hoffberg
Dissertation: When the Thought Counts: The Causes and Consequences of Perceived Motives in Favor Exchange.
In my dissertation, I engage the question of how sub-Saharan Africa individuals' perceptions of wellbeing are shaped by various forms of inequality. In the first half of my dissertation, I match Afrobarometer data and Demographic and Health Survey data for 11 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Using techniques including multiple imputation, factor analysis, and ordinal logistic regression estimation, I model the impacts of structural factors, such as health care use rates, school enrollment rates, and security, and reference group asset and consumption levels on subjective wellbeing. Building on these findings, in the second half of my dissertation, I use a unique dataset from four communities in Ghana to model wellbeing's relationship to the average expenditure of three differently constructed "reference" groups: spatial reference groups, homophily reference groups, and ego-centric networks. I test whether the phenomenon of relative deprivation found in developed countries holds in Ghana and whether these findings vary across reference group constructions. My dissertation research thus lays the groundwork for future research developing more nuanced explanations of how perceptions of wellbeing influence the decisions people make, particularly related to participation in development, politic action, and risk taking.
Jung Mee Park, PhD
Dissertation: Why Treaties Matter: the Economic and Cultural Effects of 19th century Treaties in China, Japan, and Korea
Theories of nation-state formation conventionally highlighted within nation struggles in economics, politics, and military as catalysts for change. The significance of external forces such as international treaties affecting domestic reforms has been largely omitted. In my dissertation, I examined how the diffusion of international law via bilateral treaties changed the economic, political, and criminal laws for nation-states, especially Asian and Latin American states. By creating a dataset of 235 19th Century treaties involving European, Asian, North American, and South American states, I examined the encounters between different legal systems, which introduced and later challenged concepts such as sovereignty, autonomy, and free-trade. I found that geographic origins of the treaty partners affected the types of treaties signed and the level of mutual benefits found in the treaties. When Asian states concluded treaties with European states, European states benefited greatly from the interchanges through extraterritorial rights and most favored nation clauses. In contrast, European and Latin American treaties guaranteed more symmetric rights to both parties, despite Asian and Latin American states having comparable levels of development in the 19th Century. With case study chapters, I recounted the transitions of China, Japan, and Korea as the influence of international law enervated China, empowered Japan, and disenfranchised Korea. Language, culture, and conflict mediated the process by which laws from abroad diffused and helped to reshape state practices.
Committee: David Strang (chair), Mabel Berezin, and Katsuya Hirano (history)