David Stark

David Stark

Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs
+1 212 854 3972
701C Knox
Office Hours: 
Wednesdays 4:15-6:15
Areas of Interest: 
Economic Sociology, Sociology of Innovation, Democratization and Organizational Change in Postsocialist Eastern Europe

Ph.D., Harvard, 1982

Biographical Note: 

David Stark is Arthur Lehman Professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Columbia University where he directs the Center on Organizational Innovation.  His most recent book, The Sense of Dissonance: Accounts of Worth in Economic Life, was published by Princeton University Press in 2009.  Stark studies how organizations and their members search for what is valuable.  Dissonance – disagreement about the principles of worth – can lead to discovery.  To study the organizational basis for innovation, he has carried out ethnographic field research in Hungarian factories before and after 1989, in new media start-ups in Manhattan before and after the dot.com crash, and in a World Financial Center trading room before and after the attack on September 11th.

Stark is also conducting historical network analysis.  What is a social group across time in network terms?   Supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Stark and his former student Balazs Vedres are analyzing a large, longitudinal dataset on the ownership ties, personnel ties, and political ties of the largest 2,200 Hungarian enterprises from 1987-2006.  Publications from this project include: Structural Folds:Generative Disruption in Overlapping Groups, American Journal of Sociology, 2010, vol 15, no 4; and Social Times of Network Spaces: Network Sequences and Foreign Investment in Hungary, American Journal of Sociology, 2006.

Other recent publications include: PowerPoint in Public: Digital Technologies and the New Morphology of Demonstration, (with Verena Paravel) Theory, Culture &Society 2008;  Sociotechnologies of Assembly (with Monique Girard) in Governance and Information:  The Rewiring of Governing and Deliberation in the 21st Century, 2007;  Rooted Transnational Publics: Integrating Foreign Ties and Civic Activism (with Balazs Vedres and Laszlo Bruszt) Theory and Society 2006; Tools of the Trade: The Socio-Technology of Arbitrage in a Wall Street Trading Room (with Daniel Beunza) in Industrial and Corporate Change 2004; and Postsocialist Pathways: Transforming Politics and Property in Eastern Europe (with Laszlo Bruszt) Cambridge University Press, 1998.

Stark was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2002.  He has been a visiting fellow at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris; the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne; the Institute of Advanced Study in Durham, UK; the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City;  the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand; the Center for Advanced Studyin the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto; the Institute for Advanced Study/Collegium Budapest; the Center for the Social Sciences in Berlin; and the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.