Todd Schifeling

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan, with affiliation to the Erb Institute.

I study the political and cultural construction of markets. Ideas orient the actions of producers and consumers by defining and motivating economic strategies. In turn, contentious processes often shape the development of these ideas and their distribution across actors. For instance, companies with competing conceptions about how best to succeed in a market will develop these ideas in opposition to each other and carry out divergent strategies. In my research, I seek to understand how these political and cultural change processes operate.

Empirically, I study niches in consumer markets, employment and corporate interlocks among large firms, gourmet food trucks, and the environmental movement. I also have an interest in integrating big data into sociological research. My research on the political determinants of corporate employment during recessions is published in the American Journal of Sociology.

You can reach me at