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Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

at Stanford University

The Department of Sociology at Stanford University is ranked as one of the country's top departments in both economic sociology and inequality and includes such leading faculty as Karen Cook, Shelley Correll, Paula England, Mark Granovetter, David Grusky, Sean Reardon, Cecilia Ridgeway, Michael Rosenfeld, Matthew Snipp, Jesper Sørensen, Nancy Tuma, Andy Walder, and Xueguang Zhou, all of whom have agreed to participate in this training program.

These faculty members have research programs that connect directly to the initiative's focus on the causes, consequences, and policy responses to the Great Recession. For example, Karen Cook is a leading expert on the conditions under which trust in economic institutions can dissipate; Mark Granovetter has shown how economic behavior is a function of the networks in which it's embedded (and can accordingly generate tipping points, irrational exuberance, and market crashes); Paula England has developed powerful sociological models of how market pricing is a function of stereotypes, tastes, and other extra-rational forces; David Grusky has examined the role of market failure and rent in generating the recent runup in inequality as well as the emerging post-recession compression; and Jesper Sørensen is examining the conditions under which workers may respond to economic hardship by resorting to self-empowerment. These projects, and many others, will provide opportunities for Stanford Postdoctoral Fellows to build general models of economic behavior, apply them to the recession, and thereby better understand its causes and consequences.

There will likewise be many opportunities at Stanford University for interdisciplinary research on the recession. The Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality (CPI) connects Stanford's sociology faculty with other social science scholars studying poverty, inequality, and the economy. Located within the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), the Center has over 125 Stanford University faculty affiliates, approximately 400 national and international fellows, and a vibrant program of visiting postdoctoral scholars.

There are two CPI projects underway that bear directly on the recession and its sources and impacts. The Collaboration for Poverty Research (CPR), which brings together top faculty from several institutions, is currently examining how different population groups are coping with the recession and its fallout. The CPR is also the home of the Stanford Poverty Count, a new measure of domestic poverty that will be used to track the effects of the recession and of proposed post-recession reforms in health care, housing policy child care, and related programs. The Postdoctoral Fellows brought to Stanford University will be invited to join either of these research teams exploring the changing structure of poverty and inequality as the Great Recession intensifies (and ultimately recedes), among other opportunities available to them at Stanford.

For the new NSF Postdoctoral Fellow coming to Stanford University, a mix of recession-relevant research opportunities will thus be available, some involving individual independent research (under the guidance of faculty), and others involving larger interdisciplinary team projects. The Stanford Fellow will be free to choose from among this mix of opportunities that work best for them.

For more information about the Department of Sociology at Stanford University, visit: www.stanford.edu/dept/soc/.

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Postmark Deadline: December 21, 2011