Edith and Benjamin Geisinger Professor of Sociology and Harvard College Professor
PETER V. MARSDEN, Edith and Benjamin Geisinger Professor of Sociology and Harvard College Professor, received his undergraduate degree (Sociology and History) at Dartmouth College (1973) and his graduate degrees (Sociology, MA  and Ph.D. ) at the University of Chicago. He came to Harvard in 1987 after teaching for ten years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also held administrative assignments as Associate Chair and Special Assistant to the Dean. At Harvard, he served as Chair of the Sociology Department between 1992 and 1998 and in 2002-03. He is Chair of the Program and Admissions Committee for the Ph.D. Program in Organizational Behavior, a position he also held between 2000 and 2003.
Marsden's research interests are centered on social organization, especially formal organizations and social networks. He has ongoing interests in social science methodology and in the sociology of medicine. He has worked recently on organizational factors linked to the presence of various human resource practices- recruitment and staffing practices, "high performance" practices, and the use of "contingent" workers- in U.S. workplaces, using data from establishment surveys. He has studied survey measurement of social networks and research methods for establishment surveys. Marsden is involved in the ongoing data collection efforts of the General Social Survey, has been a lead investigator of three National Organizations Studies conducted between 1991 and 2003, and was a co-investigator on a project examining organizational approaches to the improvement of HIV care.
At Harvard, Marsden has offered courses on organizational analysis, social networks, mathematical sociology, quantitative methods, research methods, and integrating micro- and macro-sociology. He has served on the Sociology review panel for the National Science Foundation, and currently serves on several editorial boards. Between 1991 and 1995 he edited Sociological Methodology, the annual methodology volume sponsored by the American Sociological Association. He serves as Chair of Harvard's University Benefits Committee and of its Health Plans Subcommittee.
Recent Publications Include:
(With A. James O'Malley) "The Analysis of Social Networks" Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology 8 (4;December, 2008): 222-269.
(With Nancy L. Keating, John Z. Ayanian, and Paul D. Cleary) “Factors Affecting Influential Discussions Among Physicians: A Social Network Analysis of a Primary Care Practice.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 22 (6; June, 2007): 794-798.
(With Arne L. Kalleberg, Jeremy Reynolds, and David Knoke) “Beyond Profit: Sectoral Differences in High Performance Work Practices.” Work and Occupations 33 (3; August, 2006) 271-302.
Review essay on Generalized Blockmodeling, by Patrick Doreian, Vladimir Batagelj, and Anuska Ferligoj. Social Networks 28 (July, 2006): 275-282.
(With Bruce E. Landon, Ira B. Wilson, Keith McInnes, Lisa R. Hirschhorn, Lin Ding, and Paul D. Cleary) “The Reliability of Survey Assessments of Characteristics of Medical Clinics.” Health Services Research 41 (February, 2006): 265-283.
“Network Methods in Social Epidemiology.” Pp. 267-286 in J. Michael Oakes and Jay S. Kaufman (eds.) Methods in Social Epidemiology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publications, 2006.
(With Arne L. Kalleberg) “Externalizing Organizational Activities: Where and How U.S. Establishments Use Employment Intermediaries.” Socio-Economic Review 3 (September, 2005): 389-416.
“The Sociology of James S. Coleman.” Annual Review of Sociology 31 (2005): 1-24.
"Recent Developments in Network Measurement." Pp. 8-30 in Peter J. Carrington, John Scott, and Stanley Wasserman (eds.) Models and Methods in Social Network Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
“Network Analysis.” Pp. 819-825 in Kimberly Kempf-Leonard (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Measurement. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 2004.
(With Bruce E. Landon, Ira B. Wilson, Keith McInnes, Mary Beth Landrum, Lisa Hirschhorn, David Gustafson, and Paul D. Cleary) “Effects of a Quality Improvement Collaborative on the Outcome of Care of Patients with HIV Infection: The EQHIV Study.” Annals of Internal Medicine 140 (June, 2004): 887-896.
(With Arne L. Kalleberg and Jeremy Reynolds) "Externalizing Employment: Flexible Staffing Arrangements in U.S. Organizations." Social Science Research 32 (December, 2003): 525-552.
"Interviewer Effects in Measuring Network Size Using a Single Name Generator." Social Networks 25 (February, 2003): 1-16.
"Egocentric and Sociocentric Measures of Network Centrality." Social Networks 24 (November, 2002): 407-422.
(with Elizabeth H. Gorman) "Social Networks, Job Changes, and Recruitment." Pp. 467-502 in Ivar Berg and Arne L. Kalleberg (eds.) Sourcebook on Labor Markets: Evolving Structures and Processes. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2001.
Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies and Lecturer on Sociology
David Ager holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. His research focuses on the intergroup nature of post-acquisition integration in the context of high growth entrepreneurial firms.
His dissertation is an ethnography based on a three year intensive field study of the post-merger integration of three mid-size customer relationship management software development firms, whose operations were based in Silicon Valley, the northeastern United States and Toronto, Canada. It proposes that even in situations where the cultures of the merging organizations are similar, actors may engage in what he labels an "avoid" dynamic that reinforces in-group and out-group differences, inhibiting integration. His study highlights the role of identity in shaping these post-acquisition integration outcomes. His dissertation contributes to a better understanding of the reasons why so many mergers and acquisitions fail. It also contributes to theories of social identity and theories about the role of emotions in economic life.
Ager has several years experience in the areas of joint ventures and alliances both in his capacity as Director of the Mexico Research Initiative at the Richard Ivey School of Business and as an adviser to a cabinet Minister in the Canadian government. He has also assisted a number of companies address issues of organizational development such as leadership development, talent management, change management, team building and succession planning, both as a member of the Finance team at Nortel and more recently as a consultant to several large multi-national firms from different industries including finance, high-technology, bio-technology, and wholesale distribution.
Ager holds an Honors B.Sc. in Economics and Human Biology from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and an A.M. in Sociology from Harvard University.
1969 Ph.D., Sociology, University of California Berkeley
Research Areas: Sociological Theory Macro-Historical Sociology of Political and Economic Change Micro-Sociology: Face-to-Face Interaction Sociology of Intellectuals Social Conflict (Especially Violent Conflict)
Contact Information: 277 McNeil Building 3718 Locust Walk University of Pennsylvania, Sociology Department Philadelphia, PA 19104-6299 Telephone: 215.573.6176 Fax: 215.573.2081
It occurs to me that Dr. Collins may have played a very good identity politics game in securing the NIH directorship over other highly qualified possibilities, by distinguishing himself as the "christian" brilliant scientist.
"Training Program in Social Psychology and Microsociology Department of Sociology This program provides exposure to and critical examination of the major topics of theory and research within social psychology and microsociology. Two one-semester courses present a substantive overview of the field. Several specialized courses and seminars are offered each year. A research seminar is held weekly to give students and faculty the opportunity to present their ideas and original research for constructive criticism. Faculty are involved in a range of projects involving various topics and research methodologies. These projects often provide research assistantships for graduate students, and some offer opportunities for postdoctoral experience.
On September 26-27, 2008, we celebrated the centennial of the field of Social Psychology with a series of spectacular talks, and a Reception and Gala Dinner here on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Click here for links to audio files of the talks and other multimedia content.
Core Courses 730 Intermediate Social Psychology I: The Individual in Society (Maynard) Survey of social psychology with an emphasis on the major social psychological theories and research that focus on the individual in social context. It is intended for graduate students with some background in social psychology who desire a more in-depth exposure to the major issue in the field. The topics to be covered include perspectives on socialization, the self, social perception and attribution, attitudes, language and nonverbal communication, and attraction and relationships.
731 Intermediate Social Psychology II: Group and Collective Processes (DeLamater) Survey of social psychology with an emphasis on the interrelations of individuals, groups and society. It is intended for graduate students with some background in social psychology who desire a more in-depth exposure to the major issues in the field. The topics to be covered include: social structure and personality, including roles, gender roles, occupational roles, social networks, and alienation; small groups, including interdependence, cohesion, influence, and performance; collective behavior, social movements, and conversion; and cross-cultural social psychology. Throughout the course, the emphasis is on processes of social interaction.
960 Ethnomethodology (Maynard) The purpose of the seminar is learn how to find and analyze a phenomenon that is identifiably a phenomenon in and for the experience of members to a local setting. There are three interrelated sub-objectives. (1) We will obtain a grasp of basic ethnomethodological issues by reviewing Garfinkel's early (1967) as well as recent (2002) writings. We will also examine ethnomethodology in relation to social theory more generally. (2) We will engage in "demonstrations" and other ethnographic experiences that help reveal structures of daily life--phenomena as defined above. (Be prepared, literally, to look at the world upside down, and in other odd ways.) (3) We will explore various contemporary directions in which the ethnomethodological enterprise has gone, including studies of work and conversation analysis. Along the way, we will consider misconceptions and also critiques of ethnomethodology.
961 Intimate Relationships (DeLamater) The purpose of this seminar is to read and discuss the social science literature on close or intimate relationships, and to contribute to your development as a scholar of relationships. Topics to be covered include (1) theoretical paradigms; (2) relationship processes, including communication, attachment processes, interdependence, commitment, social support, sexual motivation and desire, and conflict and aggression; (3) relationships across the life course, including during adolescence, adulthood, and later life.
961 Self and Identity (Piliavin) Seminar to focus on theory and research on the self and identity, from both a psychological and a sociological perspective. Topics covered include classic conceptualizations of the self; theories of identity; race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality; self and culture, social structure, and intimate relationships; self and information processing; self regulation, self-efficacy, and control theory; self-esteem; self-enhancement, motivation and self-knowledge, authenticity.
961 Sociology of the Life Course (Thomson) This graduate seminar is designed to provide an overview of theory and research on the life course. We will also cover material drawn from what is referred to as lifespan psychology, considering the different approaches and emphases of psychologists and sociologists in studying human life from birth to death. A particular emphasis will be placed on comparative, cross-national research among the affluent countries of the world. Topics covered include the structured life course, demographic elements, social transformations, agency, attitudes and values, personality stability and change, family transitions, linked lives, inequality, and health.
969 Social Structure and Personality (Carr) This seminar explores how one's position in the social structure affects individual-level experiences and characteristics, including physical and psychological health, attitudes, personality, interpersonal relationships, and achievement patterns. The social structure and personality (SSP) paradigm does not focus solely on documenting these patterns; rather, we will explore the social psychological pathways that link characteristics such as race, class, gender, citizenship, occupation, birth cohort, and family roles with individual-level outcomes. We will begin the semester with an exploration of the theoretical precursors of the SSP paradigm. Other topics to be covered include: "national character" and cultural difference studies; macrolevel economic, social and normative change; generational or cohort studies; linking structure and personality, including role theory, and group theories; social structural factors and personal outcomes, including early influences, individual-level change and crises, ambition and aspiration, occupational characteristics and work conditions, race, and gender.
Program faculty John D. DeLamater (Ph.D., Michigan, 1969) is a social psychologist with interests in human sexuality, gender, life course, and deviance, law and social control. His teaching and research interests span sexuality across the life course, intimate relationships, health promotion, and survey research methodology.
Douglas W. Maynard (Ph.D., California-Santa Barbara, 1979) is engaged in research and teaching in the sociological traditions of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. His research addresses topics ranging from ordinary conversational practices to interaction in the survey interview to relationships between doctors and patients to disability.
Pamela Oliver (Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1977) is a sociologist known for her work on the microsociology of collective action and social movements. Her current research examines the coevolution of protest movements, political institutions, repressive practices, and news media. Professor Oliver is also engaged in an examination of the causes and consequences of the racial disparity in imprisonment in the United States.
Jane Allyn Piliavin (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1962) is a social psychologist recognized for her groundbreaking work on altruism and prosocial behavior, including her comprehensive analysis of blood donors which produced a model for explaining how a committed pattern of sustainable altruistic actions can develop over time. Her more recent work continues this line of research, investigating volunteering and helping behavior and its benefits for the individual.
Nora Cate Schaeffer (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1984) teaches courses in survey research methods and conducts research on instrument design on interaction in the survey interview. Her recent research, in collaboration with Doug Maynard, examines the initial request for survey participation. Professor Schaeffer also serves as Faculty Director of the University of Wisconsin Survey Center.
"The Micro-Social Learning Environment, a Strategy for accelerated learning"
-Here the thought is how to help 1st graders from disadvantaged backgrounds. You may not want to click the link, not much useful or insightful here, but I like the title and aspiration as applied to me. My life experience is microsocial, and it's probably my microsocial environment I should focus on optimizing to maximize my persistence odds.
Microsociology is one of the main branches of sociology (contrast with macrosociology and mesosociology) which concerns itself with the nature of everyday human social interactions on a small scale. At the micro level, social statuses and social roles are the most important components of social structure. Microsociology is usually based on empirical observation rather than statistical methods. It derives from the philosophy of phenomenology and includes symbolic interactionism and ethnomethodology. Ethnomethodology in particular has led to many academic sub-divisions and studies such as microlinguistical research and other related aspects of human social behaviour. It was conceived by Harold Garfinkel to inquire into the methods people use to make sense of their social world. It also provided an extra dimension between the studies of social psychology and sociology— focusing more on individual interaction and thinking within groups, rather than just large social group/societal behaviour. It has now become important in many fields of study, including modern psychosocial studies, conversational analysis and human-computer interaction. Microsociology continues to have a profound influence on research in all human fields, often under other names.
Sartre, in his massive tome on the phenomenology of social dynamics, Critique of Dialectical Reason, written in the late 1950s, called microsociology the only valid theory of human relations.
There are four main social controls: socialization, sanctioning, rituals, and segregation of activities. Socialization is the development of shared symbols, cultural beliefs, and norms. It governs social skills and interactions. Sanctioning is the process of reading gestures and facial expressions to determine the proper social norms in a given situation. Rituals are stereotyped behaviors that frame typical social interactions, such as a simple exchange of greetings. In complex societies, incompatible activities are segregated in order to prevent conflict and tension.
This course explores contemporary microsociological theories and uses them to interpret interpersonal social situations. Readings include seminal works by Erving Goffman, Randall Collins, D. Lawrence Wieder, Michael Baxandall, Harold Garfinkel, Thomas Scheff, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, and Anthony Giddens. Class discussions will focus on interaction processes observed in educational settings, but are by no means limited to them. Among other topics, we will discuss the role that selves, social identities, rituals, conceptual frameworks, and emotions play in interaction. Moreover, we will discuss processes by which specific interactions reverberate outward to more general changes in the wider social structure.
Requirements and Grading -- To meet the requirements of the course, students will:
(1) Participate actively in discussion of the required reading materials.
(2) Present a short talk (10-15 minutes maximum) on a required reading (you may choose which reading to present, but no two persons can do the same one Ò you also are asked to email your notes to all participants after the class is over).
(3) Choose (a) or (b):
(a)Write three 5-7 page papers (topics will be written by the instructor, but you have the option of choosing your own topics for the second or third papers), and a 2-3 page synopsis of these three papers. All three papers and synopsis must be resubmitted December 11th as a portfolio. You will have the option of rewriting the first two papers for resubmission in the final portfolio.
(b)Write a 20-25 page research paper due December 11th (on topic approved by the instructor). This option requires that the student hand in five and ten-page drafts on the same due dates as the first two papers in option (a).
Assignments are due on the following Mondays:
(1) October 15
(2) November 5
(3) December 10
1st paper (5-7 pages)
2nd paper (5-7 pages)
Portfolio: 3rd 5-7 page paper, 2nd and 1st 5-7 page paper (rewritten), and 2-3 page synopsis
5 page statement of topic & its importance
10 page statement of topic, its importance, & argument structure
Finished research paper of 20-25 pages in length.
Note: All assignments due before 5 pm in my Cubberly mailbox. All required readings are available at Cubberly Library on 2-hr reserve.
Required Texts (At Bookstore):
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von. 1990 .The Sorrows of Young Werther, And Novella. New York: Vintage Classics.
A reader is available at Field Copy (ph. 323-3155) and on 2-hr reserve at Cubberly Library.
Collins, Randall. 1994. "The Microinteractionist Tradition." Chapter 4 in Four Sociological Traditions. (pp. 242-290) New York: Oxford University Press.
Collins, Randall. 1981. "On the Microfoundations of Macrosociology." American Journal of Sociology 86, 5: 984-1014.
Garfinkel, Harold. 1967. "Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday Activities" - Chapter 2 (pp. 35-75). In Studies in Ethnomethodology. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
Garfinkel, Harold. 1967. "Pasing and the Managed Achievement of Sex Status in an "Intersexed" Person Ò Part 1" - Chapter 5 (pp. 116-185). In Studies in Ethnomethodology. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press. Reader.
Tannen, Deborah and Cynthia Wallat. 1987. "Interaction Frames and Knowledge Schemas in Interaction: Examples from a Medical Examination/Interview." Social Psychology Quarterly 50: 205-217.
McLean, Paul. 1998. "A Frame Analysis of Favor Seeking in the Renaissance: Agency, Networks, and Political Culture." American Journal of Sociology 104, 1: 51-91.
Mische, Ann and Harrison White. 1998. "Between Conversation and Situation: Public Switching Dynamics Across Network Domains." Social Research 65, 3: 695-724.
(1) September 27 Ò Collins, Randall. 1994. "The Microinteractionist Tradition." Chapter 4 in Four Sociological Traditions. (pp. 242-290) New York: Oxford University Press. Reader.
II. LITERARY EXAMPLE OF INTERACTION, INTENTION, AND EMOTION
(2) October 2 Ò Goethe (pp. 3-167)
(3) October 4 & 9 Ò Goffman Ò Part I and Part II (pp. 3-92)
IV. SOCIAL LIFE
(4) October 9 & 11 Ò Goffman Ò Part III (pp. 93-146), and
Collins, Randall. 1981. "On the Microfoundations of Macrosociology." American Journal of Sociology 86, 5: 984-1014.Reader.
V. FRAMES AND THE ORGANIZATION OF EXPERIENCE
(5) October 16 & 18 Ò *(There may be a guest speaker due to Jury Duty)
Garfinkel, Harold. 1967. "Studies of the Routine Grounds of Everyday Activities" - Chapter 2 (pp. 35-75); "Pasing and the Managed Achievement of Sex Status in an "Intersexed" Person Ò Part 1" - Chapter 5 (pp. 116-185); in Studies in Ethnomethodology. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press. Reader.
(6) October 18 & 23 Ò Weider, Preface and Part I (pp. 1-128)
(7) October 25 Ò Weider, Part II (pp. 129-224)
(8) October 30 and November 1 Ò Goffman, Part IV (pp. 147-262)
(9) November 1 and November 6 Ò
Tannen, Deborah and Cynthia Wallat. 1987. "Interaction Frames and Knowledge Schemas in Interaction: Examples from a Medical Examination/Interview." Social Psychology Quarterly 50: 205-217. Reader.
McLean, Paul. 1998. "A Frame Analysis of Favor Seeking in the Renaissance: Agency, Networks, and Political Culture." American Journal of Sociology 104, 1: 51-91. Reader.
(10) November 8 Ò Baxandall - Intro, I, II (pp. 1-73)
(11) November 13 Ò Baxandall - III, IV (pp. 74-137)
(12) November 15 Ò Giddens Ò chapters 1-2 (pp. 1-109)
(13) November 20 Ò Giddens Ò chapters 3-4 (pp. 110-226)
*No class November 22 (Thanksgiving)*
(14) November 27 Ò Giddens Ò chapter 5-6 (pp. 227-354)
(15) November 29 Ò Scheff, Part I-III (pp. 3-116)
(16) December 4 Ò Scheff, Part IV-V (pp. 117-197)
(17) December 6
Mische, Ann and Harrison White. 1998. "Between Conversation and Situation: Public Switching Dynamics Across Network Domains." Social Research 65, 3: 695-724.
Additional Readings (optional and provided for your perusal):
Gutierrez, Kris, Betsy Rymes, and Joanne Larson. 1995. "Script, Counterscript, and Underlife in the Classroom: James Brown versus Brown v. Board of Education." Harvard Educational Review 65, 3: 445-471.
Heritage, John. Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
Hutchby, Ian and Robin Wooffitt. 1998. Conversation Analysis: Principles, Practices, and Applications. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.
Manning, Phillip. 1992. Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology. Stanford: Stanford University Press. See Chapter 6 (summarizes frame analysis).
Mehan, Hugh. 1979. Learning Lessons: Social Organization in the Classroom. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Snow, David et. al. 1986. "Frame Alignment Processes, Micro-mobilization and Movement Participation." American Sociological Review 51: 464-81.
For Part VII
Parsons, Talcott. 198 . The Structure of Social Action: Volumes 1 and 2. New York: Free Press.
For Part VIII
Cooley, Charles H. 1902. Human Nature and the Social Order. New York: Schocken Books. Chapters 5-6, pp. 168-263.
-----. 1961 . "The Social Self," pages 822-828 in Theories of Society: Foundations of Modern Sociological Theory. Edited by Talcott Parsons, Edward Shils, Kaspar D. Naegele, and Jesse R. Pitts.
Hochschild, Arlie. 1983. The Managed Heart. California: University of California Press.
-----. 1979. "Emotion Work, Feeling Rules and Social Structure." American Journal of Sociology 85, 3: 551-575.
NOTE: Most additional readings have not been placed on reserve but can be obtained through usual library checkout procedures."