Daniel Della Posta is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Cornell University. His work is driven by an interest in the micro-foundations of macro-social stability and change. He is currently in the data-collection phase of a project on the economic bases of political, social, and institutional change in San Francisco during the 1960s and 1970s, where a diverse and robust “gay economy” emerged despite inhospitable legal conditions. This project will seek to provide a deeper understanding of this historical puzzle and explore the broader role of economic interest in motivating changes to the formal and informal institutions governing the dominant society’s treatment of gays and lesbians.
In related research, Dan is working with Victor Nee and Sonja Opper to develop and test a formal model of endogenous institutional change in markets. He is also involved in two other projects studying the dynamics of outgroup tolerance and intolerance using an agent-based computational model and explaining the puzzle of lifestyle politics and politicized lifestyles (with Michael Macy and Yongren Shi) by drawing on both computational and survey methods. A couple of empirical side projects involve modeling heterogeneity in the economic returns to military service and testing a multilevel model of competitive threat and intergroup contact dynamics as they relate to anti-immigrant voting in France.
Academic Interests intergroup relations; economic sociology; social and institutional change; social networks; norms, deviance, and social control; social psychology; computational and quantitative methods