Congratulations to recent PhD Kim de Laat, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Gender + the Economy

Kim de LaatCongratulations to Kim de Laat, who recently graduated with her PhD and began a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Gender + the Economy (GATE) in the University of Toronto. Kim’s dissertation title is The Shape Of Music To Come: Organizational, Ideational, And Creative Change In The North American Music Industry, 1990-2009. She completed her doctorate under the supervision of Shyon Baumann (chair), Vanina Leschziner, Damon Phillips and Judith Taylor. Her dissertation abstract is as follows.

Dissertation abstract

This dissertation examines the relationship between occupational roles, and creativity, uncertainty, and change in cultural industries. Over the course of three chapters, it uses regression, discourse, and content analysis, as well as in-depth interviews with professional songwriters and music industry personnel to analyze collaborative dynamics and collective sensemaking throughout the transition to digital production in the North American music industry. The first chapter develops meaning-centric measures of creativity to analyze how collaborative strategies shifted throughout the transition to digital production. It demonstrates empirically that musical diversity and innovation operate as countervailing forces – innovative forms can be devoid of diverse content – and calls attention to how limited examinations of cultural production are if the outcomes of interest are misspecified. Failing to attend to artistic form and content renders cultural objects no different from non-cultural phenomena, and leads to impoverished interpretations of institutional dynamics. Chapter 2 identifies how discourse is used to assess new technology and make sense of one’s place within a changing organizational landscape. It demonstrates that the patterned use of analogies and metaphors inform sensemaking and sensegiving efforts based on one’s occupational role. Moreover, a focus on the constraints posed by occupational membership on discursive framing elucidates the conditions under which exploitative or exploratory searches for solutions to organizational change are pursued. While the music industry has undergone massive change, creative labourers are accustomed to working under conditions of uncertainty since such industries experience high rates of failure. To this end, Chapter 3 examines how professional songwriters manage routinized uncertainty in post-bureaucratic work settings. It identifies two conventions that help manage ongoing uncertainties. Namely, equal authorship and professional conciliation mediate tensions between present-day conflict and desires for future success. They allow jurisdictional challenges and varying productivity to be accommodated, and rewards to be distributed in a manner deemed fair. This chapter challenges the notion that post-bureaucratic forms of work organization can be characterized wholesale as either cooperative or conflict-driven. In effect, conflict and cooperation are mutually constitutive within such organizational forms. Collectively, the dissertation chapters advance our understanding of endogenous cultural processes that occur within creative and institutional fields undergoing technological change.

At the Institute for Gender + the Economy, Kim is extending her interest in how actors make sense of change to include a consideration of gender inequality in the workplace. She is conducting a comparative organizational ethnography in order to examine how changing cultural beliefs about parenthood within workplace cultures inform employees’ perceptions and use of family-friendly practices, such as flextime and parental leave.


Congratulations to the 11 PhD graduates of 2016/17

Convocation at Con HallThis year, eleven of our PhD students successfully defended their dissertations and graduated with their doctorates. Follow the careers of our PhD graduates by perusing our PhD alumni page. Congratulations this year go to:

Salina Abji

Salina’s dissertation was Emerging Citizenships: Efforts to Address Violence against Non-Status Women in Toronto and she was supervised by Anna Korteweg (supervisor), Patricia Landolt, and Judith Taylor. Salina is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Read more about Salina on her website or here.

Holly Campeau

Holly’s dissertation was Policing in unsettled times: An Analysis of Culture in the Police Organization. She was supervised by Ron Levi (supervisor), Candace Kruttschnitt, and Josée Johnston. Holly will start a new position as Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta this fall. Read more about Holly here.

Steven Cook

Steven’s dissertation was A Comparative Analysis of the Violent Victimization Experiences of Street and School Youth. He was supervised by Julian Tanner (supervisor), David Brownfield, and Scot Wortley (U of T Criminology). Steven is currently a lecturer in quantitative methods and criminology at Cardiff University.

Kim de Laat

Kim’s dissertation was Mesa-Level Influences on Creativity and her committee was Shyon Baumann (supervisor), Vanina Leschziner, and Damian Phillips (Columbia Business School).  Kim is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Gender + the Economy in the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. Read more about Kim on her website.

Jennifer Elrick

Jennifer’s dissertation was Family/Class: State-Based Boundary Work around Immigration and National Identity in Germany and Canada Since 1955. She was supervised by Anna Korteweg (supervisor), Patricia Landolt, and Jeffrey Reitz. Jennifer is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at McGill University.

Nathan Innocente

Nathan’s dissertation was Organizational Risk and Mortgage Fraud. He was supervised by Sandy Welsh (supervisor), Ronit Dinovitzer, and Kelly Hannah-Moffat (U of T Criminology). He is currently an Assistant Professor (teaching stream) at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Read more about Nathan here.

Emily Laxer

Emily wrote her dissertation on Democratic Struggles and the National Identity Formation: The Politics of Secularism in France and Quebec. She completed her degree under the supervision of Anna Korteweg (supervisor), Monica Boyd, and Erik Schneiderhan. Emily is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Diana Miller

Diana’s dissertation was titled Gendering Cultural Fields. She was supervised by Cynthia Cranford (supervisor), Vanina Leschziner, and Bonnie Erickson. Diana works as the Data Analysis Coordinator for York Region. Read more about Diana here.

Joanne Nowak

Joanne’s dissertation was Moving Beyond the Lone Skilled Migrant: Establishing a Social Model of Skilled Migration and Integration Through a Case Study of Ghanaian Nurses. She was supervised by Cynthia Cranford (supervisor), Patricia Landolt, and Monica Boyd. Joanne is the academic coordinator for the Blum Centre at the University of Californa, Santa Barbara.

Agata Piekosz

Agata wrote her dissertation on Polish Catholic Priests in Canada and Ireland: Migration, Leadership, and the Mobility of Strangers. She was supervised by Anna Korteweg and Y. Michal Bodemann (co-supervisor), and Judith Taylor. Agata is currently an instructor at King’s University College.

Siyue Tian

Siyue’s dissertation was Living Arrangements and Intergenerational Supports Among Immigrant and Canadian-born Seniors. She worked under the supervision of Monica Boyd (supervisor), Cynthia Cranford, and Markus Schafer. Siyue is currently an analyst with Statistics Canada.