Skip to content

Graduate students play an important and active role in the intellectual debates and research agenda of CSES.

Class of 2016

Daniel J. Della Posta

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

Class of 2015

Alicia Eads

Alicia Eads is interested in how the socially constructed arenas of markets and finance impact inequality. She approaches this broad interest from several different angles. One angle involves looking at how workers in a company taken over by a private equity firm understand the private equity industry, and what it means to them to have the company they work for be private equity-owned. Workers’ understandings likely impact productivity and how they interact with “shared capitalism” plans, in which half of U.S. workers are now involved.

In another project, Alicia is analyzing whether households with volatile income save and invest more or less than households with stable income—and also considers whether the answer to that question varies depending on whether households have, on average, high or low income. This is an important question because economic instability has increased over the past 30 years for most people in the U.S.

A third angle from which she approaches the intersection of markets, finance, and inequality is financial regulation. She is particularly interested in the dynamics between the U.S. federal financial regulatory agencies and the career bureaucrats and political appointees within the agencies.

Academic Interests economic sociology, sociology of finance, organizations, inequality

Class of 2016

Hilary Holbrow

Hilary Holbrow’s current work examines the impact of local institutions on immigrant integration in workplace. Through comparative research in the United States and Japan, Hilary investigates how employer practices affect the relative incomes and satisfaction of immigrant and native workers, and how work opportunities and environment influence immigrants’ decisions to stay or return to their home countries. In a side project, she is writing a paper on the role of norms in the diffusion of information through social networks.

Before coming to Cornell, Hilary worked as a research assistant at Harvard University’s Program on US-Japan Relations, and in local government in Okinawa, Japan. She is the recipient of a Blakemore Freeman Fellowship, speaks fluent Japanese and is learning Mandarin Chinese.

Academic Interests economic sociology, sociology of immigration, East Asian societies

Class of 2016

Yujin Oh

Yujin Oh is interested in the cross section of institutional theory and organizational research, specifically how the interplay of institutional factors influence interaction with and development of organizations.  She is currently conducting a research project based on the Cornell NYC Tech Campus analyzing institutional emergence and organizational hybridism.  This theory driven, analytic study examines the emergence of a new institution, Cornell Tech, against a background of economic crisis and a clashing of formal academic and informal commercial norms.  The resulting organization is a uniquely new form combining multiple institutional logics.

Yujin received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a Minor in Business, Networks, and Institutions at Cornell University in 2011.  She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Cornell University.

Academic Interests Economic Sociology, Entrepreneurship and Technology, Organizations, Social Networks

Class of 2016

Michael Siemon

Michael Siemon studies how institutions and networks shape opportunities for economic growth and development. His main interests are in networks of organizations, the structure of incentives for entrepreneurial behavior, rentierism and the relation between businesses and the state. Michael’s current research focuses on the rise of high technology enterprises in New York City and on the structure of private enterprise in the Middle East.

Academic Interests economic sociology, social networks, and organizations

Class of 2016

Shuo Zhang

Shuo Zhang is interested in the analysis of China’s economic development using economic sociology, social network and organizational analysis. The economic development China has led to vast changes of the society. Currently Shuo is working on a project investigating institutional change and its impact on business networks in China.

Academic Interests Economic sociology, social networks, organizations

Class of 2017

Lucas Drouhot

Lucas Drouhot’s interests lie in the study of intergroup dynamics in comparative perspective (Europe and the US), with a particular focus on interethnic relations, group assimilation, and the role of the state in influencing such processes. Past research has looked at the comparative evolution of islamophobia in France and Denmark, as well as the experience of racism among upper-middle class immigrants in France. Current projects investigate the changes in the political rhetoric of the extreme right, as well as the effect of state policies on anti-immigrant prejudice.

Before coming to Cornell, Lucas completed an undergraduate degree in political science (Licence de Science Politique) at the University of Lyon, and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology at McGill University.

Academic Interests Intergroup relations, immigration, ethnicity, political sociology, comparative sociology

“The great bulk of controls over social behavior are not external but built into the relationships themselves.”— George Homans