Our PhD students receive an excellent training in research and pedagogy, preparing them for careers in top research and teaching universities. While many also choose to pursue careers outside of the academy, on this page, we feature those students currently seeking positions in universities or colleges.
Dissertation Title: The Embodied Dimensions of Creativity
Dissertation Committee: Vanina Leschziner (Chair), Dan Silver, Ann Mullen
Research and Teaching Areas: Culture, Cognition, Creativity, Theory, Sociological Social Psychology.
Statement on teaching and research interests: Gordon’s research examines how cognitive processes and social and cultural life interrelate. This includes examining how cognition shapes creativity and human behavior in social contexts, how people develop patterns of thought and action, and how the cognitive sciences can improve sociological theory and research. His dissertation, The Embodied Dimensions of Creativity, examines how improvisational theatre troupes collaboratively create new jokes, characters, stories, and scenes in real-time, drawing on interview and observational data with experienced improvisers from the Toronto improv scene. From this data, He develops an account of how creativity emerges out of interactions between cognitive processes, corporeal and material states and conditions, and the social and cultural environment. His research is published in Sociological Science, Poetics, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Forum, and Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. News
Dissertation Title: The Social Bases of Moralized Politics (expected spring 2022)
Committee: Daniel Silver (chair), Jack Veugelers, Andrew Miles
Research and Teaching Areas: political sociology, culture, sociological theory
Milos Brocic is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research interests are in the fields of political sociology, moral culture, and sociological theory. His dissertation project, “The Social Bases of Moralized Politics”, examines socializing processes that draw individuals towards moralized politics, focusing on the transition from adolescence into young adulthood. This includes 1) assessing alienation’s role in shaping motivations for radical movements, and 2) higher education’s role in shaping moral divisions behind the ‘culture wars.’ In this work and others, Milos reevaluates classic sociological insights with modern techniques of data analysis, engaging timely issues with a perspective both old and new. This builds on a general interest in charting sociology’s intellectual movements, which comes to a head in work documenting the legacy of Georg Simmel. News
Dissertation title: The Making of Urban Knowledge: Ideas, Cities, Gurus
Dissertation committee: Dan Silver (Chair), Mark Fox, John Hannigan
Research and teaching areas: Urban Sociology, Political Socioloy, Sociology of Ideas, Immigration, Race and Ethnicity
In her research, Noga examines what it means for a messy and complex entity like a city to adopt a new idea, and how particular ideas have become ‘must-haves’ for cities. Her different research projects touch upon these issues from different angles, asking, for instance: How do urban models become relevant when placed in a context extremely different from the one in which they were formulated? How does the ‘same’ idea vary over time and across geographical scales? How have a small group of charismatic urban thinkers established their position as urban ‘gurus’? And how in practice do they connect cities with ideas? Noga examines these questions using multiple qualitative and quantitative methods.
Dissertation title: “Discourse and structure: An examination of the organizational identities and networks of contemporary specialty coffee retailers”
Dissertation committee: Bonnie Erickson (supervisor), Clayton Childress, Josée Johnston
Research and teaching areas: Social Research Methods, Sociology of Culture, Social Networks, Urban Sociology
James Lannigan is a PhD candidate enrolled in the Sociology department at the University of Toronto. His current research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of the Sociology of Culture, Social Networks, and Urban Sociology. His dissertation work focuses on the networks of specialty coffee retailers paying close attention to the development of distinct identity-making practices and their contemporary adaptation to challenges in the marketplace from chain competition. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, James has been recently focusing on how this population has adapted their organizational practices to deal with uncertainties facing the niche as a whole. News
Gruzd, A., Lannigan, J., & Quigley, K. (2018). Examining government cross-platform engagement in social media: Instagram vs Twitter and the big lift project. Government Information Quarterly, 35(4), 579-587.
Lannigan, J. (2017, July). Branding practices in the new (Er) media: a comparison of retailer twitter and web-based images. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society (pp. 1-5).