Culture Industry Fellows

Theories of postindustrial society have long pointed to a world oriented around knowledge and representation. Hence many occupations today are concerned with the creation, management, understanding, exchange and circulation of information, signs and iconic forms. Far from being locked in an Ivory Tower the work of the CCS has been centrally concerned with these very processes, about meaning and its implications for society today. Taking advantage of their CCS training some of our graduates become practitioners rather than academics, and others practitioners who continue to publish and research. Drawing upon their deep immersion into CCS paradigms and ways of seeing such scholars are uniquely equipped to master the pragmatics of the cultural-industrial landscape and build careers where cultural sociology is applied to solving problems, building communities, sharing ideas or creating identities.

Elizabeth BeckerElizabeth Breese
Director of Marketing, Panorama Education, Boston, Massachusetts

PhD ~ 2012 “Interpreting the News: A Cultural Sociology of Journalistic Discourses in the United States”

Andrew CohenAndrew Cohen
Brand Strategist, Phenomenon, Los Angeles, California

Andrew C Cohen is a cultural economic sociologist, currently working in the strategy department at Phenomenon, a marketing firm based in Los Angeles, CA, that does consulting, communications, design, and product and services innovations. At Phenomenon, Andy has brought a sociological approach to brands like American Express, Neustar, Intuit, and others. Prior to Phenomenon, Andy had worked at several other agencies, working on clients as diverse as PayPal, Hotels.com, Infiniti, BestBuy, Dreyer’s/Edy’s Ice cream, and more. Using cultural and economic sociological concepts like narratives, binaries and codes, and relational work, Andy investigates culture and meaning-making practices as they relate to consumption as a way to inform brand strategy.

Andy graduated summa cum laude from Fontbonne University (St. Louis, MO) in 2011 with a BA in Advertising and Applied Sociology. At Yale Universtiy, he earned his MA in sociology in 2014 and his Ph.D. in sociology in 2017. His dissertation uses the lens of cultural and economic sociology to investigate the production of advertising, drawing on ethnographic research conducted across four different U.S. advertising agencies.

Andy has recently published articles in Consumption Markets & Culture as well as Theory & Society (with co-author and fellow CCS alumnus Shai Dromi). His work also appears in The Encyclopedia of Economics and Society (eds. Frederick F. Wherry & Juliet B. Schor) and the Journal of Applied Social Sciences

Andrew Cohen ~ CV

Caroline Gray
Research Sociologist, Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i), Department of Veterans Affairs, Palo Alto, California

PhD ~ 2010 “Disfigured Forms: Surgical Alterations of the Body”

Jin Su JooJin Su Joo
Healthcare Strategist, Throughline Strategy, Inc., Toronto, Canada

PhD ~ 2016 “The Cultural Logic of Heritage Redevelopment Mega-Projects: The Distillery District in Toronto and Cheonggyecheon in Seoul”

Christine SlaughterChristine Slaughter
Social Science Research Librarian, The University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia

Abby StiversAbby Stivers
Engagement Manager, The Beacon Group, Portland, Maine

Abby J. Stivers is a cultural sociologist who works as an Engagement Manager at The Beacon Group located in Portland, Maine. The Beacon Group focuses on providing market research and growth strategies to Fortune 500 companies in Healthcare, Technology, Industrials, and Defense. At Beacon Abby has found the opportunity to conduct applied qualitative research about innovative products in healthcare and technology. Abby brings a deep theoretical knowledge of economic sociology and behavioral economics to her work with clients.

Abby graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2008 with a degree in International Relations. In 2020 she earned a PhD in sociology from the State University of New York at Albany. Her dissertation focused on the relational effects of student loan debts and the cultural implications of a more financialized economy.