Research InterestsCultural Sociology, Economic Sociology, Social Theory, Comparative Historical Sociology, Qualitative Methods, Political Sociology.
SubfieldsCultural Sociology, International Development, Political Sociology, Theory
Lyn Spillman’s research and teaching interests are grounded in cultural sociology and extend to economic sociology, social theory, comparative historical sociology, qualitative methods, and political sociology. Her work examines cultural influences in social processes: how meaning-making varies, how meanings influence human action, and how meaning-making affects social cohesion and conflict. She is especially interested in understanding economic and political culture in long-term historical processes. She teaches classes in cultural sociology, economic sociology, qualitative methods, social theory, and political sociology, and she has been a member of over seventy committees supporting students’ thesis research. Her work for cultural sociology includes What is Cultural Sociology (Polity, 2020), Cultural Sociology (editor) (Blackwell, 2002), and articles, encyclopedia entries, and special issues on cultural theory, interest-oriented action, mixed methods, and causal logic. Her work on economic culture includes Solidarity in Strategy: Making Business Meaningful in American Trade Associations (University of Chicago Press, 2012), winner of the Viviana Zelizer Award for Best Book in Economic Sociology, and the Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book in Cultural Sociology. She has also published articles, chapters, and encyclopedia entries on business associations, culture in economic life, economic culture in the public sphere, and professions. Her work on political culture includes Nation and Commemoration: Creating National Identities in the United States and Australia (Cambridge University Press, 1997), as well as articles and chapters on nations, nationalism, collective memory, and constitutional conventions. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an ASA/NSF Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award, she has served as Chair and as Secretary-Treasurer of the ASA Section on Cultural Sociology, and on the Executive and Nominations Committees of the Social Science History Association. She has also held numerous other offices in the ASA sections for Theory, Comparative-Historical Socioloy, Economic Sociology, and Political Sociology, and Altruism. A current or former member of the editorial boards of American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Sociological Forum, the ASA Rose Monograph Series, and Sociological Theory, she is currently North American Editor for Cultural Sociology. and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology. She is also a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame.