Ph.D, University of California at Santa Barbara, 2012
I am a cultural sociologist, and an associate professor in the Department of Sociology. I’m currently Chair-Elect for the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association, on the editorial boards for Poetics, Contemporary Sociology, and Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology, and an associate editor for American Journal of Cultural Sociology. I’ve been recipient of the Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in the Sociology of Culture (2018), the McGuffey Award (2022), and an honorable mention for the Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article (2021).
Research Topics: Cultural Production, Reception, and Meaning Making, Taste, Decision Making, Inequality, Organizations, Markets.
Research Projects: Using a variety of methodological approaches I am currently studying taste-, decision-, and meaning-making for cultural objects and how these processes generate different social arrangements and configurations of inequality.
Childress, Clayton. 2017 [2019 paperback]. Under the Cover: The Creation, Production, and Reception of a Novel. Princeton University Press (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology).
Awards: 2018 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in the Sociology of Culture, Culture Section, American Sociological Association.
Translations: Simplified Chinese (East China Normal University Press)
Edited Volumes (* = equal co-authors)
Childress, Clayton*, and Craig Rawlings* (Eds.). 2021. “Measure Mohr Culture.” Poetics 88.
Textbooks (* = equal co-authors)
Croteau, David R.*, William D. Hoynes*, and Clayton Childress*. 2021. Media/Society: Technology, Industry, Content, and Users (7th edition). SAGE Publishing.
Awards: 2022 McGuffey Longevity Award, Textbook & Academic Authors Association
Peer Reviewed Articles (* = equal co-author; ^graduate student co-author)
Silver, Daniel*, Clayton Childress*, Monica Lee, Adam Slez, and Fábio Dias. 2022. “Balancing categorical conventionality in an online music market” American Journal of Sociology 128(1): 224-286.
Rawlings, Craig M.*, and Clayton Childress*. 2021. “Schemas, interactions, and objects, in meaning making.” Sociological Forum 36(1): 1446-1477.
Childress, Clayton*, Shyon Bauman*, Craig M. Rawlings*, and Jean Francois Nault*^. 2021. “Genres, objects, and the contemporary expression of higher-status tastes.” Sociological Science 8: 230-264.
Nault, Jean-Francois*^, Shyon Bauman*, Clayton Childress*, and Craig Rawlings.* 2021. “From omnivore to snob: The social positioning of taste between and within music genres.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 24(3): 717-740.
Childress, Clayton,* Erik Schneiderhan*, and Abigail Borja Calonga^. 2020. “Beyond triangulation: Reconstructing Mandela’s writing life through propulsive facilitation at the archive.” Qualitative Sociology 43(3): 367-384.
Rawlings, Craig M.*, and Clayton Childress*. 2019. “Emergent meanings: Reconciling dispositional and situational accounts of meaning-making from cultural objects” American Journal of Sociology 124(6): 1763-1809.
- Honorable Mention, Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article, Culture Section, American Sociological Association (2021)
Childress, Clayton, and Jean-Francois Nault^. 2019. “Encultured biases: The role of products in pathways to inequality.” American Sociological Review 84(1): 115-141.
Gerber, Alison*, and Clayton Childress*. 2017. “The economic world obverse: Finding freedom through markets after arts education.” American Behavioral Scientist 61(12): 1532-1554.
Gerber, Alison, and Clayton Childress. 2017. “I don’t make objects, I make projects: Selling things and selling selves in contemporary artmaking.” Cultural Sociology 11(2): 234-254.
Childress, Clayton*, Craig M. Rawlings*, and Brian Moeran. 2017. “Publishers, authors, and texts: The process of cultural consecration in prize evaluation.” Poetics 60: 48-61.
Silver, Dan*, Monica Lee*, and C. Clayton Childress. 2016. “Genre complexes in popular music.” Plos One 11(5): 1-23.
Childress, C. Clayton. 2015. “Regionalism and the publishing class: Conflicted isomorphism and negotiated identity in a nested field of American publishing” Cultural Sociology 9(3): 364-381.
Childress, C. Clayton and Alison Gerber. 2015. “The MFA in creative writing: The uses of a “useless” credential” Professions and Professionalization 5(2): 1-16.
Maghbouleh, Neda*, C. Clayton Childress* and Carlos Alamo-Pastrana*. 2015. “Our Table Factory, Inc..: Learning Marx through role play.” LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences 8(2): 5-28.
Nathaus, Klaus, and C. Clayton Childress. 2013. “The production of culture perspective in historical research: integrating the study of the production, reception and meaning of symbolic objects.” Studies in Contemporary History/Zeithistorische Forschungen 10(1): 1-16.
Childress, C. Clayton and Noah E. Friedkin. 2012. “Cultural production and consumption: the social construction of meaning in book clubs,” American Sociological Review 77(1): 45-68.
Childress, C. Clayton. 2012. “Decision making, market logic, and the rating mindset: negotiating BookScan in the field of U.S. trade publishing,” European Journal of Cultural Studies 15(5): 604-620.
Childress, C. Clayton. 2011. “Evolutions in the literary field: the co-constitutive forces of cognitions, institutions, and networks,” Historical Social Research/Historische Sozialforschung 36(3): 115-135.
Childress, C. Clayton. 2011. “What’s the matter with Jarrettsville? Genre classification as an opportunistic construct,” Journal of Business Anthropology.
- Expanded version in (Eds.) Brian Moeran & Bo Christensen’s (2013) Exploring Creativity: Evaluation Practices in Innovation, Design, and the Arts. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.