Academic Profile

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Ramina Sotoudeh

Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Sociology

I am a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow in Sociology at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Before joining Nuffield, I received my PhD from the Department of Sociology at Princeton University, and my BA in Social Research and Public Policy at NYU Abu Dhabi.

I am interested in how institutions and networks bridge the micro- and macro-levels and mediate the relationship between individuals’ attributes and their social outcomes. Substantively, my work contributes to the fields of sociogenomics and the sociology of culture.

In one line of my research, I study the complex interaction between social and biological forces in shaping human behavior. In previous work with co-authors, I have examined how the genes of those around us shape our own outcomes and developed novel methods for quantifying the extent to which genes shape how receptive individuals will be towards changes in one’s environment. Across three different but interrelated studies, my dissertation shows how cultural and biological mechanisms interact at different levels of the social world (institutional and relational) to jointly shape adolescent risky behavior.

In a second line of research, I contribute to the sociology of culture by using relational methods to map variations in how individuals construe issue domains, from science and politics to love and religion. For example, co-authors and I have shown that Americans’ vary in their construals of the relationship between science, religion, and spiritualism such that science and religion are not always and necessarily opposed. In a recent paper, Paul DiMaggio and I develop a framework for selecting the right algorithm for a given dataset and demonstrate its value through a detailed examination of variations of relational class analysis (RCA).

Ramina Sotoudeh