- Ph.D., Sociology, Northwestern University, 2003
- M.A., Sociology, Northwestern University, 1999
- B.A., Sociology with Honors, College of Wooster, 1996
I received my Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2003. I do research at the intersections of social psychology, organizations, and culture, coalescing in a paradigm that I and others have been calling inhabited institutionalism. In other words, I examine how institutions such as education are inhabited by people doing things together-at times in concert and at times in conflict-and how these interactions matter for organizational functioning. I argue that a focus on these interactions is essential for our understanding of how organizations work. Such research typically involves field observations of what people actually do inside of organizations, and interviews with the inhabitants. For example, I've published research on institutional recoupling in organizations (American Sociological Review 2010), the inhabited nature of institutions (Theory and Society 2006 with Marc Ventresca), how people gossip at work (Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 2009 with Brent Harger and Donna Eder), how emotions blow up in organizations (The Sociological Quarterly 2003), symbolic power and organizational culture (Sociological Theory 2003), and how symbolic power is created in social interactions and used to shape organizations (Social Psychology Quarterly 2007). Currently I am developing an inhabited institutional approach to understanding professional socialization, based on a 2-year ethnographic study of a Masters of Public Affairs program.