Assistant Professor, Princeton University
Organizations are platforms on which social actors construct the meanings of actions and negotiate their relationships. While organizations prescribe rules of conduct and formalize cultures within them, social actors often go beyond these restrictions and improvise new frameworks through which exigent problems can be solved and transformed. I am interested in how formalized organizational setups and routines interact with informal relations and organizational crises. I have studied different types of organizations with various degrees of formalization. My current project examines how Chinese state bureaucracy of the 19th century responded to large-scale social rebellions. Upcoming projects include a study of how social organizations among inmates influence strategies of escaping from prison, and a study of the different forms and meanings of “mediators” in social relations.