Todd Schifeling

Welcome! I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan, with affiliation to the Erb Institute. My research interests lie at the intersections of economic sociology, social movements, and environmental studies. I also have an interest in applying big data to sociology. My dissertation examines the reciprocal influences between consumer markets and consumer societies, as marketers draw on consumer differences to build new niches and in turn provide consumers with the cultural materials to extend and develop these differences. This project seeks to identify the mix of internal market dynamics and external developments in society that propel growing consumer fragmentation. More abstractly, my research investigates the relationships between structural and cultural change. One project within this broad theme looks at contending business groups with divergent views on how to manage recessions, and has been published in the American Journal of Sociology. Other projects deal with agenda change in the U.S. environmental movement, the infusion of authenticity concerns into the economy and the rise of food trucks, and the consequences of dialogic communication in the UN human rights forum for human rights practices. You can reach me at