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Paul Starr is CSSO's Acting Director, the Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School, and a Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs

Paul is the co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect. At Princeton he holds the Stuart Chair in Communications and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School. He received the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction and Bancroft Prize in American History for The Social Transformation of American Medicine and the 2005 Goldsmith Book Prize for The Creation of the Media. His most recent book Freedom’s Power, on the history and promise of liberalism, is now out in paperback.


Advisory Committee

Alejandro Portes is Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University.  Portes is the author of 250 articles and chapters on national development, international migration, Latin American and Caribbean urbanization, and economic sociology. He has published 30 books and special issues. His books include City on the Edge – the Transformation of Miami (California 1993), co-authored with Alex Stepick and winner of the Robert Park Award for best book in urban sociology and the Anthony Leeds Award for best book in urban anthropology in 1995; and Immigrant America: A Portrait, 3rd edition, (California 2006), designated as a Centennial Publication by the University of California Press in 1996. His current research is on the adaptation process of the immigrant second generation in comparative perspective, the role of institutions on national development, and immigration and the American health system.
Salganik, Matt

Matthew Salganik is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. His interests include social networks, quantitative methods, and web-based social research. One main area of his research has focused on developing network-based statistical methods for studying populations most at risk for HIV/AIDS. A second main area of work has been using the World Wide Web to collect and analyze social data in innovative ways. Salganik's research has been published in journals such as Science, Sociological Methodology, and Journal of the American Statistical Association. His papers have won the Outstanding Article Award from the Mathematical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and the Outstanding Statistical Application Award from the American Statistical Association. Popular accounts of his work have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist, and New Yorker. Salganik's research is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Joint United Nations Program for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and Google.


Viviana A. Zelizer is Lloyd Cotsen ‘50 Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. She specializes in economic processes, interpersonal relations, and childhood. She has published books on the development of life insurance, the changing economic and sentimental value of children in the United States, and on the place of money in social life. Some of her recent publications include The Purchase of Intimacy (Princeton University Press, 2005) and Economic Lives: How Culture Shapes the Economy (Princeton University Press, 2010).  Her current research focuses on college students’ economic practices, concentrating on their cross-class transactions.

Postdoctoral Research Associates

Affiliated Faculty

Margot Canaday is an Associate Professor of History at Princeton University. She is a legal and political historian who studies gender and sexuality in modern America. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Canaday joined the History Department in 2008 after a three-year term in the Princeton Society of Fellows. Her first book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America, was published in 2009 by Princeton University Press. It examines military, immigration, and welfare policy to ask how homosexuality came to be a meaningful category for the federal state over the early- to mid-twentieth century. The dissertation on which the book is based won the Lerner-Scott prize from the Organization of American Historians (OAH), as well as prizes from the Law and Society Association, and the University of Minnesota. She was also the recipient of the Louis Pelzer Memorial Award from the OAH. Canaday's work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the OAH, the American Historical Association, the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, and twice by the Social Science Research Council. Her new book project is a queer history of the American workplace from the mid-nineteenth century to the present that integrates labor, business, legal, and women's history with the history of sexuality.

Miguel Angel Centeno is Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Princeton University. In 2009-2010, he is serving as Acting Director of the Princeton Program in Latin American Studies. From 2003 to 2007, he served as the founding Director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. In 2000, he founded the Princeton University Preparatory Program, which provides intensive supplemental training for lower income students in local high schools. From 1997-2004 he also served as Master of Wilson College at Princeton. His latest publications are Global Capitalism (Polity 2010) and Discrimination in an Unequal World (Oxford UP 2010) as well as several forthcoming articles. He is currently working on several book projects including: Paper Leviathans: Liberalism in the Iberian World (Penn State Press),and War and Society (Polity). Through the Mapping Globalization project (, he has worked on improving the quantitative scholarship available on globalization. In 2005 he was elected to the Sociological Research Association as well as the Comparative Historical Section Council of the ASA. In 1997 he was awarded the Presidential Teaching Prize at Princeton University. He has also been awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the Bonner Foundation Award.

Mitchell Duneier is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. Duneier tends to choose his ethnographic projects with an eye to revealing both the common and distinctive elements of humanity.  Most people have common bases of life, and many who are presumed to be quite different have some salient “moral” characteristics in common.  Slim’s Table was an effort to document commonalities between an invisible inner city black working poor and mainstream society.  Sidewalk tried to disentangle what is common and what is distinctive about unhoused black men on the streets, accounting for the distinctions and similarities in light of history, situation, and structure.  These and other urban ethnographic projects have pivotal agendas that are both scientific and political: to systematically study the lives of the urban poor in a period of U.S. history characterized by a strong current of ideological and cultural dehumanization of marginalized social groups.  In such an era, it is important to account for difference and to reaffirm elements of commonality in accordance with the highest standards of evidence.  To do so rigorously is both a scientific enterprise and a political project.


Jacob William Faber is an Assistant Professor at New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. He is currently on leave, working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University. His research focuses on spatial inequality. He leverages observational and experimental methods to study the mechanisms responsible for sorting individuals across space and how the distribution of people by race and class interacts with political, social, and ecological systems to create and sustain economic disparities. While there is a rich literature exploring the geography of opportunity, there remain many unsettled questions about the causes of segregation and its effects on the residents of urban ghettos, wealthy suburbs, and the diverse set of places in between.   Jacob earned his PhD in Sociology from New York University. He also graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Master’s degrees in Telecommunications Policy and Urban Studies and Planning and a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science. Between stints at graduate school, Jacob worked as a Senior Researcher for the Center for Social Inclusion, a racial justice policy advocacy organization.

Henry Farber is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Economics and a Research Associate of the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University.  His research interests include 1) wage, employment, and unemployment dynamics, 2) reference dependent preferences, liquidity
constraints, and labor supply, 3) law and economics, and 4) voter behavior.  In addition to his position at Princeton, Farber is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Society of Labor Economists, and the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Before joining the Princeton faculty in 1991, Farber was Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He has also been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Studies.

Molly Greene is an historian of the Ottoman Empire and the Mediterranean in the early modern period (15th to 18th centuries.) Within those two larger frames she works particularly on the history of the Greeks. As an enduringly transnational and commercial people, the Greeks provide an ideal window into networks, markets and organization in pre-industrial economies. Her first book, A Shared World: Christians and Muslims in the Early Modern Mediterranean, was published by Princeton University Press in 2000. Her next book, Catholic Pirates and Greek Merchants: A Maritime History of the Mediterranean, is forthcoming the summer of 2010. It considers how Greek merchants went about protecting their trade in conditions of great insecurity.

Serguei Alex. Oushakine is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Director of the Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies at Princeton University. His research reflects his formal training in anthropology, history, political theory, sociology and gender studies.  His fieldwork centers on Eurasia, where he explore how the collapse of state socialism has simultaneously undermined already existing communities and precipitated the emergence of new ones.  In his book, The Patriotism of Despair: Communities of Loss in Contemporary Russia (Cornell UP, 2009), based on two years of fieldwork in Siberia, Oushakine analyzes the importance of experienced or imagined traumas for creating postsocialist identities and meanings. In his new fieldwork in Minsk (Belarus) and Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) Oushakine is tracing how the socialist experiment in former Soviet republics is reframed in terms of colonial and postcolonial experience. Oushakine has co-edited with Costica Bradatan a volume on power and intellectuals (In Marx's Shadow: Knowledge, Power, and Intellectuals in Eastern Europe and Russia. New York: Lexington Books, 2010); he also edited a special issue of Studies in East European Thought on post-soviet intelligentsia, and is preparing for publication special issues of Slavic Review and East European Politics and Society on totalitarian laughter and the nature of the comic under socialism.

Elizabeth Paluck is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs and a John Maclean Jr. Presidential University Preceptor at Princeton University. Her research is concerned with the reduction of prejudice and conflict, including ethnic and political conflict, youth conflict in schools, and violence against women. She uses large-scale field experiments to test interventions that target individuals' perceived norms and behavior about conflict and tolerance, including mass media and peer-to-peer interventions.


Elizabeth Roberto is a postdoc in the Department of Sociology.  Her interests include social stratification and inequality, urban sociology, complex adaptive systems, and quantitative methods.  She received a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University.  Her dissertation introduced a new method for studying the local context of residential segregation and examined the role of spatial boundaries in structuring racial segregation patterns in U.S. cities.  She received a James S. McDonnell Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Studying Complex Systems, which funds her postdoctoral research on the spatial dynamics of social inequality.

Kim Lane Scheppele is Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs in the University Center for Human Values and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where she also directs the Program on Law and Public Affairs. Her sociological specialties are the sociology of law, sociology of knowledge, comparative-historical sociology and theory. Scheppele's research focuses on constitutions under stress. She has studied constitutional change in Eastern Europe after 1989 under four different NSF grants, doing more than five years of fieldwork in Budapest and Moscow. She then turned her attention to the examination of frontline states under pressure to cut constitutional corners in order to fight the global war on terrorism. She has been a consultant to the Hungarian Constitutional Court, the Russian Constitutional Court, the Afghan Constitutional Drafting Commission, and the US Guantanamo Interagency Task Force and is the author of many articles in law journals and social science journals, primarily in English but also in Hungarian, Russian and French. Her forthcoming book, The International State of Emergency:  Legality and Transnationality after 9/11, will appear next year. Her previous book, Legal Secrets, won special recognition from the American Sociological Association.

Eldar Shafir is the William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs in the Department of Psychology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. His research focuses on descriptive analyses of decision making, and on issues related to behavioral economics, with an emphasis on how people make judgments and decisions in situations of conflict and uncertainty. Most recently, he has focused on decision making in the context of poverty and, more generally, on the application of behavioral research to policy. He is a member of the Russell Sage Foundation Behavioral Economics Roundtable and of the Academic Advisory Board of the Behavioral Finance Forum, a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Fellow of the Filene Research Institute, Faculty Associate of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, Research Affiliate of Innovations for Poverty Action, and co-director of Ideas42, a social science R&D lab. He has held visiting positions, among others, at The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, The Kennedy School of Government, The Russell Sage Foundation, The Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Studies, and Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona.

Jacob N. Shapiro is an Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, and the Class of 1934 University Preceptor in the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. His primary research interests include the politics of militancy, the relationship between aid and political violence, and the organizational aspects of terrorism, insurgency, and security policy. His research has been published in International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, Foreign Policy, Military Operations Research, and a number of edited volumes. Shapiro co-directs the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. He is a member of the editorial board of World Politics, a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Research Pakistan (CERP), a former Harmony Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy, and served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve.


Janet Vertesi is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. As a sociologist and historian of science and technology, Janet is interested in many facets of the interrelation between science, technology and society. How and why do we know what we know? What institutions and flows of people are required to craft scientific knowledge? How do social norms influence the development of technology, and what happens when those technologies move or those norms change? Janet's research addresses these questions through many different projects. In her Ph.D. dissertation, she conducted an ethnography of the Mars Exploration Rover mission to understand how scientists worked with digital images to pursue scientific investigations on another planet. Her current research project involves a follow-up, comparative study with the Cassini mission to Saturn, where she is interested in the relationship between the social organization of spacecraft teams, their decision-making processes, and the scientific work that they accomplish. She has also published projects on subway maps and representations of urban space; on technology in transnational and postcolonial contexts; on GPS tracking of sex offenders; and on early modern astronomy. Her work is mostly ethnographic, although she is also trained in ethnomethodology, and she especially enjoy applying her sociological insights to technology development through the field of Human-Computer Interaction. As more and more technologies become part of our everyday lives, and as science occupies an increasingly important role in global policy debates, now more than ever it's important to understand how these tools and processes shape our contemporary experience, and to consider how we want to integrate them into our social worlds.



Paul DiMaggio

Paul DiMaggio was the previous director of CSSO and the A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University.  He was at Princeton University from 1992 until February 2016. DiMaggio is now a Professor of Sociology at New York University. DiMaggio, who formerly taught at Yale's Sociology Department and School of Management. His research interests include economic sociology, sociology of organizations, and social network analysis, and much of his work has addressed these issues in the context of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and the informal networks that sustain them. Current projects include studies of the impact of networks on social inequality, the social organization of belief systems, public participation in the arts, and access to and use of information technology.

For past visitors and postdoctoral research associates, please see the People Archive.