Neha Gondal

I am an assistant professor in the department of sociology and the faculty of computing and data sciences at Boston University.

My research focuses on the relationships among social networks (connections or ties among and between individuals and organizations), culture, and inequalities. The basic principle undergirding social network analysis is that human and organizational relationships are crucial for explaining behavior. Drawing on this general framework, two themes animate my work. First, offering a critical perspective on longstanding approaches that disregard the role of culture in the formation of social networks, I argue that cultural meaning is integral to the construction of relationships. Second, I analyze how social networks as cultural constructs are implicated in the consolidation of inequalities.  I draw on various cutting-edge techniques such as exponential random graph models, data mining, topic-modeling, multi-level models, and agent-based simulations. 

I have studied disparate contexts including Renaissance Florence, academic inequalities, public health issues, and diversity management. While each site presents distinctive features, taken together, my work shows that interpersonal and organizational relationships, as cultural constructs, contribute to the exacerbation of cultural boundaries and status distinctions. Use the links above to learn more about my research in these areas. My most recent CV can be found here.

My research has been supported by two NIH R01 grants as well as other grants and fellowships. I have been an elected council member of three ASA sections – Economic Sociology (2019-22), Mathematical Sociology (2019-22), and Rationality and Society (2016-18). I am currently chair of the Rationality and Society section. I have also served on the editorial boards of the discipline’s leading journals including American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Poetics, and Sociological Methodology. I am currently deputy editor of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

I teach a variety of courses in sociology and data science. I am the recipient the 2023 Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Excellence in Graduate Education. This award recognizes a member of the CAS faculty whose commitment and contributions to graduate teaching, mentoring and/or program development have significantly raised the quality and impact of post-baccalaureate training in their disciplinary or interdisciplinary fields.