As part of our May newsletter, OOW profiles early career scholars Patrick Bergemann, Erika Denisse Grajeda, Katherine Maich, Pat Reilly, Megan Tobias Neely and Alison Wynn. Learn more about these scholars below.
Patrick Bergemann is an Assistant Professor of Organizations and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to joining Booth, Patrick was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Columbia Business School in New York City. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago. His research has been published in the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review.
Patrick studies the ways in which institutions interact with informal networks to influence behavior in unexpected ways. He is currently finishing up a book that will be published by Columbia University Press entitled Judge Thy Neighbor: Denunciations in the Spanish Inquisition, Romanov Russia and Nazi Germany. The book examines the relationship between institutions of social control and individual motivations to report misbehavior, developing two models of these dynamics. In the coercion model, authorities use direct incentives to elicit denunciations from the populace, leading individuals to denounce out of self-preservation or to obtain rewards. In the volunteer model, authorities offer no direct threats or rewards, and individuals denounce in order to resolve local disputes and grudges. These models are supported in three case studies: the Spanish Inquisition, Romanov Russia and Nazi Germany. They also persist in the present day in plea bargains, whistleblowing and crime reporting. Patrick plans to expand on this work in the future, exploring the conditions under which individuals instead denounce prosocially, along with studying whistleblowing and workplace harassment. In addition to research, Patrick teaches Strategic Leadership, which highlights the ways in which particular network structures can help individuals and organizations to succeed.
Erika Denisse Grajeda
Marilyn J. Gittell Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Studies
The Graduate Center at City University of New York (CUNY)
Erika Denisse Grajeda is currently the Marilyn J. Gittell Postdoctoral Fellow in Urban Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. She completed her PhD in Sociology at the University of Texas, Austin in 2016, with a specialization in gender. Dr. Grajeda studies gendered precarious employment and immigrant labor organizing in the U.S. Her doctoral research on Latina migrant women’s participation in intimate labor markets in New York City and San Francisco examines emergent forms of social control that state and non-state actors mobilize to manage “illegal” migrant workers, fashion idealized forms of employment solicitation, and promote civic engagement. Her research on gendered precarious labor and immigrant labor movements is part of a broader research agenda on the governmentality of immigration.
Dr. Grajeda’s recent article, titled “Immigrant Worker Centers, Technologies of Citizenship, and the Duty to Be Well” (upcoming in Critical Sociology), examines recent efforts by nonprofits to shape domestic workers’ comportment, habits, and subjectivities to capacitate them for the exigencies of gendered, responsible citizenship. While much has been written about punitive state projects targeting undocumented immigrants (e.g., detention and deportation), she focuses on “technologies of citizenship” aimed at fostering immigrant women’s self-managing capabilities and entrepreneurial potential. Currently, she is working on a book manuscript that interrogates immigrant visibility strategies such as “coming out of the shadows” as an emancipatory ideal and practice in a political moment marked by intensified immigration enforcement, regulatory scrutiny, and state surveillance. What does the process of becoming “visible” entail for undocumented immigrants? What are the ontological and political implications of such legibility? Finally, how do such visibility discourses and risk-taking practices shape the contemporary nexus between subject formation and state surveillance? Dr. Grajeda draws on what postcolonial theorist Édouard Glissant refers to as the “right to opacity” to imagine radical possibilities for migrant justice activism beyond the seductions of visibility politics.
Katherine Maich is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Global Workers’ Rights in the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the Pennsylvania State University. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law & Society. Her research and teaching interests include labor and work, law and social policy, feminist theory, ethnography, Latin America, and the Global South. Katherine’s work examines labor informality, the reproduction of gender and racial inequality, and the home as a site of labor. Her book project, Bringing Law Home: Regulating Domestic Workers’ Rights in Lima and New York City, draws upon more than 18 months of ethnography and 120 in-depth interviews to show how progressive labor laws for domestic workers are stifled by historically-entrenched patterns of colonial and racialized relations in those two cities. Her dissertation was recognized with the Honorable Mention in LERA’s 2018 Thomas A. Kochan and Stephen R. Sleigh Best Dissertation Award Competition.
Katherine’s other recent work won the 2017 Cheryl Allen Miller Paper Award from Sociologists for Women in Society, the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award from the Sociology of Law Section of the ASA, and the 2016 Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award from the Labor and Labor Movements Section of the ASA. A member of the Research Network for Domestic Worker Rights, she has worked for the International Domestic Workers’ Federation and collaborated with UCLA’s research team, Experiences Organizing Informal Workers. Katherine holds a Master of Science in Labor Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where her thesis won the Outstanding Feminist Scholarship Award.
Pat Reilly received his PhD in Sociology from UCLA in 2016. His research mainly focuses on decision-making and relationship formation processes in informalized and loosely structured social worlds. Specifically, Pat is interested in career development, norm enforcement, the formation of creative “circles,” and constructions of authenticity. Pat engaged these themes in his dissertation, which involved fifty months of participant-observer research into stand-up comedy in Los Angeles, California. For example, his article, “Layers of a Clown: Career Development in Cultural Production Industries” (2017, Academy of Management Discoveries), highlights the formation of careers in fields without clearly defined or linear career paths and how this shapes the generation and execution of creative ideas. Pat also has working papers that explain uneven social norm enforcement through the case of joke theft and why people commit to career paths, even though failure is likely. Furthermore, he is testing theories that emerged through his fieldwork concerning career development with longitudinal data from Internet Movie Database, which can draw further insights into work in the creative industries and “gig economy.”
Pat has taught undergraduate sociology and MBA-level management courses. He was honorable mention for the 2016 OOW Thompson Award and runner-up for the Academy of Management’s OMT Division’s 2016 Louis Pondy Award.
Megan Tobias Neely
Why are the upper echelons of business dominated by an “old boys’ club”? This question drives Megan Tobias Neely’s recent study of the hedge fund industry. Now a postdoctoral fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, Megan has worked in and studied the hedge fund industry for over a decade. Drawing on a unique dataset of in-depth interviews with hedge fund workers and field observations at workplaces and industry events, she finds that small firms organized around trust and loyalty allow the “old boys’ club” to become established and persist over time. Her most recent paper, in the current issue of Socio-Economic Review, explores how patrimonial networks among elite white men restrict access to the rewards of this trillion-dollar industry.
Megan’s research focuses on gender, race, and class inequality in the workplace and the labor market more broadly. Megan is currently writing a book with Ken-Hou Lin, Divested: Inequality in Financialized America (under contract with Oxford University Press), that explores how finance has widened economic inequality among workers in three spheres of American society: Wall Street, Main Street, and households. A recent paper from their research, in Social Currents, finds that high-status men, particularly white fathers, reap the benefits of financialization. Top-earning fathers earn almost $400,000 annually—4 times what mothers earn. In another line of research, Megan has collaborated with Christine Williams on gender, precarious work, and feminism in the new economy.
Recently, Megan has begun collecting data on technology firms as a comparative case, as both hedge funds and technology startups have unprecedented access to capital and low numbers of women and minority men in power-holding positions. Previously, Megan graduated with a PhD in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. She served as the 2017-2018 OOW Council Student Representative. Before pursuing sociology, she worked as a research analyst at a finance firm.
Diversity & Inclusion Postdoctoral Fellow
The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University
Personal website: https://alisonwynn.com/
Stanford website: https://sociology.stanford.edu/people/alison-wynn
Clayman website: http://gender.stanford.edu/people/alison-wynn
Alison Wynn’s research examines organizational policies and practices that may inadvertently create or reinforce inequality. In particular, she studies recruiting practices, perceptions of cultural fit, flexibility programs, and gender equality initiatives in elite industries such as technology, management consulting, and academic medicine.
Her dissertation project is a year-long case study of a Silicon Valley tech company implementing a gender equality initiative. Using 50 interviews with high-level executives, observation of 80 company meetings, and demographic data, Alison examines how executives’ ideologies about inequality influence their change efforts. In collaborative projects with Shelley Correll, she analyzes how tech companies present themselves when recruiting potential candidates, as well as how employees working in tech companies feel they align with the prevailing culture. In Alison’s ongoing research with the Clayman Institute, she analyzes gender biases in performance evaluations. In another research stream, she uses interviews with management consultants and academic physicians to explore the challenges of designing and implementing successful flexibility programs.
- Wynn, Alison T. and Shelley J. Correll. 2018. “Puncturing the Pipeline: Do Technology Companies Alienate Women in Recruiting Sessions?” Social Studies of Science 48(1): 149-164 (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0306312718756766).
- Wynn, Alison T. and Shelley J. Correll. 2017. “Gendered Perceptions of Cultural and Skill Alignment in Technology Companies.” Social Sciences 6(2): 45-73 (http://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/6/2/45/).
- Wynn, Alison T. 2017. “Gender, Parenthood, and Perceived Chances of Promotion.” Sociological Perspectives 60(4): 645-664. (http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0731121416672426).
- Wynn, Alison T. “Misery Has Company: The Shared Emotional Consequences of Everwork Among Women and Men.” Forthcoming, Sociological Forum.
- Wynn, Alison T. and Shelley J. Correll. “Combating Gender Bias in Modern Workplaces.” Forthcoming, Handbook of the Sociology of Gender, edited by Barbara Risman, Carissa Froyum, and William Scarborough. New York: Springer Press.