Benjamin Cornwell’s research focuses on the implications of social networks and sequence processes for individuals and organizations – in particular, how these processes effect social inequality. His work demonstrates how changes in, and the ordering of, social connections affect a variety of phenomena, including the functioning of organizations, the order of inividual routinens, the stress process, and the creation of social networks themselves.
His most recent research focuses on (1) refining the measurement of egocentric social network change and (2) the application of social network methods to the analysis of ordered or sequenced social phenomena. He devised a novel survey technique to collect the first nationally representative data on egocentric network change (as co-investigator on The National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project). His analysis of these data has provided valuable insight into how social networks change in later life and how such changes relate to social disadvantage. This research has been covered in dozens of media outlets, including CNN, The Huffington Post, MSNBC, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He has also discussed this work on radio talk shows and on television.
His recent book, Social Sequence Analysis (2015, Cambridge University Press), provides a guide for the measurement and representation of ordered social phenomena, such as sequences of real-time social action. This book shows how network analysis techniques that were originally developed in bioinformatics can be used to understand sequenced social phenomena such as real-time social activity and daily routines.
SOC 3080 Social Network and Power
SOC 5010 Basic Problems in Sociology
SOC 6110 Social Network Theory and Methods
SOC 6480 Social Sequence Analysis
- Sociological Theory
- Sociological Methodology
- Sociology of Health
- Economic Sociology
- Social Stratification
The following is a list of some recent publications. A complete list is available here.
Weeden, Kim, and Benjamin Cornwell. 2020. “The Small World Network of College Classes: Implications for Epidemic Spread on a University Campus.” Sociological Science.
Carr, Deborah, Shelley Correll, Robert Crosnoe, Jeremy Freese, Mary Waters, Benjamin Cornwell, and Elizabeth Boyle. 2017. The Art and Science of Social Research. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Cornwell, Benjamin, Alyssa Goldman, and Edward O. Laumann. 2020. “Homeostasis Revisited: Patterns of Maintenance and Restoration in the Social Connections of Older Adults.” Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.
Cornwell, Benjamin, Jonathan Gershuny, and Oriel Sullivan. 2019. “The Social Structure of Time: Emerging Trends and New Directions.” Annual Review of Sociology 45:301-320.
Cornwell, Benjamin. 2015. Social Sequence Analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.