Daniel DellaPosta

Daniel DellaPosta

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Data Analytics

503 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-8709

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Ph.D., Cornell University, 2017
  2. B.A., University of Chicago, 2011


Research Interests:

I study network dynamics in political, economic, and organizational contexts. Most broadly, my research focuses on how interdependent actors collectively shape social structure. I am especially interested in how network structure shapes—and is shaped by—social expectations, norms, and attitudes. I work with data from historical sources, surveys, and the web using a combination of network analysis, statistical modeling, and computational methods. While addressing diverse empirical and theoretical puzzles, my research features a core focus on the mechanisms giving rise to intergroup cooperation and conflict, political and attitudinal alignments, and economic organization. 

Current Research Projects:

I am currently working on three main projects, each applying network methods in a novel empirical context. The first uses a historical network analysis of the American Mafia to address a broader puzzle in economic and organizational sociology: How do organizations maintain internal solidarity and closure without compromising their access to diverse networks? In several papers stemming from this project, I draw on a rich archival data set containing detailed biographical information on over 700 members and associates of 24 American mafia families. A second project looks at the role of social influence in valuation processes in markets, drawing on an original data set of 2.2 million online beer reviews. A third project in its early stages examines a broader question: Does social influence make the spread of behaviors and other diffusion processes more predictable, or less? In line with my previous work, I also maintain a strong interest in studying the character and evolution of political and cultural polarization in the United States. 



Research Interests:

Social networks, economic sociology, political sociology, organizations and institutions, computational methods

Research Interests:

Social Institutions and Culture:

collective behavior, political  & cultural polarization, innovation & diffusion, emergence