Introduction to Social Sequence Analysis


PSTC Seminar Room, Mencoff Hall 205

Benjamin Cornwell, Associate Professor of Sociology, Cornell University

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Social sequence analysis is a relatively new set of methods that demonstrate how the timing and ordering of social phenomena shapes a variety of important outcomes, such as individual well-being, organizational performance, and the evolution of social networks. Cornwell's recent book, Social Sequence Analysis (2015, Cambridge University Press), provides a comprehensive guide for the measurement and representation of a wide variety of ordered social phenomena, such as sequences of real-time social activities throughout the course of the day and patterns of life-course phenomena. This workshop provides a general introduction to some of the main approaches to sequence analysis and relates some examples of their applications in the social sciences.

Benjamin Cornwell received his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Chicago in 2007. He has published over 50 papers and two books on a variety of topics, but his research focuses on the implications of social network structure and sequence processes – and, in particular, how they shape social stratification with respect to race/ethnicity and social class. He has documented the role of social network structure in a wide variety of processes, including health, risk behaviors, and access to valuable resources like credit and expertise. His recent work on sequence analysis explores how the ordering of social phenomena affects a variety of phenomena including the stress process and social network change. He is currently an investigator on the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP). His research on the dynamic nature of networks in later life has been covered in numerous media outlets, including CNN, HuffPost, MSNBC, The New York TimesChicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times.