As a Berkman fellow, I am researching social networks and online spaces via longitudinal study of American college students’ Facebook.com profiles. This research is part of a multi-year project sponsored by the National Science Foundation in a collaboration with sociologists Kevin Lewis, Marco Gonzalez, Nicholas Christakis, and Andreas Wimmer. I am Principal Investigator (PI). My part of the project focuses on the connection between tastes and ties, or the link between facebookers’ ‘favorite’ books, movies, and music and the structure of their social networks. As a team, we have also researched the use and diffusion of ‘privacy’ filters on Facebook.com and the socio-demographic roots of network homophily.
For nearly a decade, I taught history, politics, and popular culture at Harvard, where I was John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences. In that capacity, I have most recently been engaged in the study of Canadian politics, particularly in reference to the US and UK. I have just published a new book, The Origins of Canadian and American Political Differences (Harvard UP). I have also published research on 'why Americans don't play cricket (much)', why the US will never have a single payer health insurance system, and how American AIDS/HIV policy diverged from previous policy precedents regarding communicable disease. My first book, For The Common Good? American Civic Life and the Golden Age of Fraternity (Oxford UP) examines the role of secret societies, fraternal and sororal organizations around the turn of the last century. My training is in historical and cultural sociology.