Sociology

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Yao Lu

Associate Professor of Sociology

Attention Networks and Cognitive Challenges: Positional Advantages in Complex and Distant Search

Network theory has provided novel concepts and analytical tools for understanding how actors can leverage privileged access to others' expertise to make sound decisions. But to date it has focused on the social ties that comprise social communities. By identifying communities through network patterns of attention, instead of through patterns of direct soical network linkages, this project will identify cognitive communities, thereby reorienting network analysis from its traditional focus on social ties.

The Dynamics of Controversial Practices: SEC Sunshine, Aspirational Pay, and the Evolution of Executive Compensation Networks

Stimulated by 2006 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations that required large firms to report their compensation peers, a set of recent papers have concluded that many companies favor "aspirational" peers (i.e., larger companies and with better paid CEOs than the focal company). Research on the use by companies of aspirational peers has focused on the prevalence and average overall level of bias, and has attempted to explain bias in terms of organizational and CEO characteristics rather than in terms of the networked environment.

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Privacy Concerns Regarding the Use of Home Diagnostic Technologies

Under the supervision of Prof. David Stark, Ph.D. student Joan H Robinson, will engage in archival research and interviews to investigate the regulatory framework for home diagnostics, looking in particular at how home diagnostics have contributed to the development of American legal frameworks of personal privacy and disclosure. Utilizing archival materials at the National Archives and those attained through the Freedom of Information Act, she will study the primary sources used by the Food and Drug Administration in their deliberation regarding the Medical Device Amendments of 1976.

Sudhir Venkatesh

Williams B. Ransford Professor of Sociology

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Brokerage of Social and Cultural Capital By Reentry Organization

Mass incarceration is a social problem in the U.S and it creates the concern of how to reintegrate a large number of former prisoners, many of whom have served lengthy sentences, back into society and back into the workforce. Even as the trend towards mass incarceration seems to be reversing, a large population of people remains who exit jails and must attempt to reenter society. Racial minorities represent a significant portion of these returning prisoners, notably African Americans and Latinos.

Peter Bearman

Jonathan R. Cole Professor of Sociology

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