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Events & Media

Seminar Series

Seminar: How do Mafias organize?

Violence and murders in three Italian Mafia organizations. Presenter: Maurizio Catino & Discussant: Daniel DellaPosta

Join CSES in an exciting discussion on the way Mafias organize. Professor Maurizio Catino of the University of Mila, Bicocca will present on the violence and murders in three Italian Mafia organizations. Joining the discussion will be Danile DellaPosta, PhD candidate of Sociology at Cornell University. Do not miss this event on Tuesday, November 22, 4:30PM-6:00PM at Uris Hall Room 302.

Lecture: Interethnic Relationships in Contemporary Communities

How does diversity affect in- and out-group solidarity and cooperation. Presented by: Delia Baldassarri, New York University

Join CSES this coming Monday, November 21 on a talk about Interethnic Relationships in Contemporary Communities, where Professor Delia Baldassarri of New York University explains how diversity affect in- and out-group solidarity and cooperation. The talk will be at 3:30PM-5:00PM in Uris Hall Room 302, and there will be a reception afterwards.

Lecture Series

Economic Sociology Colloquium: “Culture, Institutions, and the Decline of the Family in Europe and East Asia”

Mary C. Brinton, Harvard University

Mary C. Brinton is Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. She will be visiting Cornell September 7-10. Brinton’s research and teaching focus on gender inequality, labor markets, economic sociology, Japanese society, and comparative sociology. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to study institutional change and its effects on individual action, particularly in labor markets. Mary  was Professor of Sociology at Cornell from 1998 to 2002.

Social Science Research Publication: Homophily & Career Mobility in China

 

News

Congratulations to Sonja Opper, Victor Nee, and Stefan Brehm for their recent publication “Homophily in the career mobility of China’s political elite” in Social Science Research.

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Highlights

  • The first paper to explore the role of homophily in political elite recruitment in China.
  • The first paper to show that homophily constitutes a significant factor in promotion of leaders to the top echelon of China’s ruling elite.
  • The study shows, homophily works independently of factional ties and economic performance.
  • The effect of homophily is even more decisive in the sub-sample of turnover candidates.

Abstract

We argue that leadership promotion in China’s political elite relies on homophily for signals of trustworthiness and future cooperative behavior more than on economic performance. We first point to the limitation of the economic performance argument from within the framework of China’s specific M-form state structure, and then we proffer a sociological explanation for why higher-level elites in China rely on homophilous associations in recruiting middle-level elites to the top positions of state. Using a unique dataset covering China’s provincial leaders from 1979 to 2011, we develop a homophily index focusing on joint origin, joint education and joint work experience. We trace personal similarities in these respects between provincial leaders and members of China’s supreme decision-making body, the Politbureau’s Standing Committee. We then provide robust evidence confirming the persisting impact of homophilous associations on promotion patterns in post-reform China.

About Journal

Social Science Research publishes papers devoted to quantitative social science research and methodology. The journal features articles that illustrate the use of quantitative methods to empirically test social science theory. The journal emphasizes research concerned with issues or methods that cut across traditional disciplinary lines. Special attention is given to methods that have been used by only one particular social science discipline, but that may have application to a broader range of areas with an ultimate goal of testing social science theory.

Lecture Series

Colloquium: The Emergence of Organizations and Markets

Where do new alternatives, new organizational forms, and new types of people come from?

The social sciences have sophisticated models of choice and equilibrium but little understanding of the emergence of novelty. Where do new alternatives, new organizational forms, and new types of people come from? Combining biochemical insights about the origin of life with innovative and historically oriented social network analyses, John Padgett and Walter Powell develop a theory about the emergence of organizational, market, and biographical novelty from the coevolution of multiple social networks. They demonstrate that novelty arises from spillovers across intertwined networks in different domains. In the short run actors make relations, but in the long run relations make actors.

This theory of novelty emerging from intersecting production and biographical flows is developed through formal deductive modeling and through a wide range of original historical case studies. Padgett and Powell build on the biochemical concept of autocatalysis–the chemical definition of life–and then extend this autocatalytic reasoning to social processes of production and communication. Padgett and Powell, along with other colleagues, analyze a very wide range of cases of emergence. They look at the emergence of organizational novelty in early capitalism and state formation; they examine the transformation of communism; and they analyze with detailed network data contemporary science-based capitalism: the biotechnology industry, regional high-tech clusters, and the open source community.

John F. Padgett is professor of political science and (by courtesy) professor of sociology and history at the University of Chicago. Walter W. Powell is professor of education and (by courtesy) professor of sociology, organizational behavior, management science, communication, and public policy at Stanford University.

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“Economic sociology is a science concerning itself with the interpretive understanding of social economic action and thereby with a causal explanation of its course and consequences.”— Max Weber