I study the relationship between the market, state, and society using quantitative and historical methods. My dissertation research explains the rise of the modern concept of the corporation using sociological theories of political power and social policy formation. I argue that, contrary to much of the sociological literature, corporate development cannot be understood through theories of elite power alone. Instead, I show that there existed a rich discourse among artisans and other laborers that framed the early corporation as an agent of stratification and a creator of unjust inequalities. As I argue in the dissertation, the populist corporate policy that followed from labor's political influence led to the creation of the private, market corporation with which we are familiar today.
I have also researched the role of securities law in mediating market/society interactions, political institutions and international exchange, and housing dynamics and neighborhood-level political patterns in American cities. Prior to coming to Harvard, I was a research assistant for the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center.
A.M. Harvard University
A.B. University of Chicago
Select Awards and Recognition
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2010-2013)
Tobin Project Fellow in Democracy & Markets (2012-2013)
Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Advanced Quantitative Methods (2010)
Desmond, Matthew and Carl Gershenson. "Who Gets Evicted? Assessing Individual, Neighborhood, and Network Factors." Social Science Research.
Levine, Jeremy, Theo Leenman, Carl Gershenson, and David Hureau. 2016. "Political Places: Neighborhood Social Organization and The Ecology of Political Behaviors." Social Science Quarterly.
Desmond, Matthew and Carl Gershenson. 2016. "Housing and Employment Insecurity among the Working Poor." Social Problems 63(1):46-67.
Greenberg, Deena, Carl Gershenson, and Matthew Desmond. 2016. "Discrimination in Evictions: Empirical Evidence and Legal Challenges." Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 51(1):115-158.
Gershenson, Carl. 2015. "Protecting Markets from Society: Non-Pecuniary Claims in American Corporate Democracy." Politics & Society 43(1):33-60.
Desmond, Matthew, Carl Gershenson, and Barbara Kiviat. 2015. "Forced Mobility and Residential Instability among Urban Renters." Social Service Review 89(2): 227-262.
Gershenson, Carl and Frank Dobbin. 2015. "Institutions and the Economy," in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Edited by Robert Scott and Stephen Kosslyn. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Levine, Jeremy and Carl Gershenson. 2014. “From Political to Material Inequality: Race, Immigration, and Requests for Public Goods.” Sociological Forum 29(3): 607-627.
Kim, Jibum, Carl Gershenson, Patrick Glaser, Tom W. Smith. 2011. “Trends in Surveys on Surveys.” Public Opinion Quarterly 75(1): 165-191.
Kim, Jibum, Carl Gershenson, Jaeki Jeong, and Tom W. Smith. 2008. “How Americans Think about North Korea: 2000-2007.” Public Opinion Quarterly 72(4): 804-821.