Dan Cornfield is Professor of Sociology, Political Science, and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, Editor-in-Chief of Work and Occupations, and a Fellow of the Labor and Employment Relations Association. His work on artist careers, labor, civil rights, and immigration addresses the formation of inclusive and expressive occupational communities and their impact on cultural pluralism. During his Fellowship year at the Curb Center, Cornfield and a team of sociology graduate students will examine the role of local arts agencies in promoting cultural equity and community engagement in the arts in the U.S.
His Beyond the Beat: Musicians Building Community in Nashville (Princeton University Press) addresses how indie musicians strengthen their inclusive and diversifying peer community of artists in the contemporary era of the gig economy and heightened identity politics, based on his in-depth interviews with 75 Nashville popular-music musicians. Dan’s work has been widely published in social science journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, and the ILR Review. Among his books are Becoming a Mighty Voice (Russell Sage Foundation) and Worlds of Work (Springer), co-edited with Randy Hodson. He has chaired the Metropolitan Nashville Human Relations Commission, advised WNPT (Nashville public television) in the production of its Emmy Award-winning documentary series on Nashville immigrants “Next Door Neighbors,” and presently advises the Future of Music Coalition on its artist revenue streams project and the National Endowment of the Arts on its research lab initiative, “The Arts, Creativity, Cognition and Learning.”
Cornfield earned his BA (1974), MA (1977), and PhD (1980) all in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Publisher: Race, Identity and Work
Authors: Daniel B. Cornfield, Jonathan S. Coley, Larry W. Isaac, Dennis C. Dickerson
As a site of contestation among job seekers, workers, and managers, the bureaucratic workplace both reproduces and erodes occupational race segregation and racial status hierarchies. Much sociological research has examined the reproduction of racial inequality at work; however, little research has examined how desegregationist forces, including civil rights movement values, enter and permeate bureaucratic workplaces into the broader polity.
Publisher: A Gedenkschrift to Randy Hodson: Working with Dignity
Authors: Daniel B. Cornfield
In eulogizing Randy Hodson, I reflect on and celebrate the development and deepening of Randy’s intellectual legacy as I have seen it unfold and intersected with it at different points over the years. Our careers commenced in 1980 as labor sociologists were turning their attention toward worker agency in an emerging post-bureaucratic era of neo-liberalism.
Publisher: Mobilization: An International Quarterly
Authors: Larry W. Isaac, Jonathan S. Coley, Daniel B. Cornfield, and Dennis C. Dickerson
Employing a unique sample of participants in the early Nashville civil rights movement, we extend the micromobilization literature by conceptualizing “preparation pathways” (or schooling channels) through which activists acquire insurgent consciousness and capital so crucial for committed, effective, high-risk activism. We identify two key pathways in which activists were “schooled” in nonviolent praxis—experience in nonviolent direct action prior to the Nashville movement and training through intensive, highly organized, and disciplined workshops on nonviolence praxis.
Publisher: Nonviolent Conflict and Civil Resistance
Authors: Larry W. Isaac, Daniel B. Cornfield, Dennis C. Dickerson, James M. Lawson, Jonathan S. Coley
While it is generally well known that nonviolent collective action was widely deployed in the US southern civil rights movement, there is still much that we do not know about how that came to be. Drawing on primary data that consist of detailed semistructured interviews with members of the Nashville nonviolent movement during the late 1950s and 1960s, we contribute unique insights about how the nonviolent repertoire was diffused into one movement current that became integral to moving the wider southern movement.