Ph.D., Northwestern University - 2009
Steve G. Hoffman received his Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. He served on the faculty at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, before joining the sociology program at the University of Toronto in 2016. He specializes in comparative ethnography, theory, science and technology studies, organizations, cultural sociology, political sociology, and social policy.
In general, Hoffman’s scholarship represents an attempt to link context, interpretation, and interaction into holistic, multi-level explanations of specific strips of social action. He is currently working on three projects, each of which deals with the cultural politics of knowledge production. First, he is publishing a series of articles based on a comparative ethnography of Artificial Intelligence labs that document how research scientists are navigating the increasingly fraught waters of commercial relevance, societal impact, and academic capitalism. Second, he has been developing a general re-thinking of the social construction of reality for 21st century social science based on his studies of the “practical use of other realities.” Third, he is working on a new project that documents how knowledge about large-scale socio-technical disasters gets created and used for policy change. His publications have appeared in numerous sociology and transdisciplinary venues, including Social Studies of Science, Cultural Sociology, Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, Politics and Society, Law and Society Review, and Sociological Theory.