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This is a Berkman Klein alum page. The information below may be out of date.

Jason Kaufman

As a Berkman fellow, I am researching social networks and online spaces via longitudinal study of American college students’ profiles. This research is part of a multi-year project sponsored by the National Science Foundation in a collaboration with sociologists Kevin Lewis, Marco Gonzalez, Nicholas Christakis, and Andreas Wimmer. I am Principal Investigator (PI). My part of the project focuses on the connection between tastes and ties, or the link between facebookers’ ‘favorite’ books, movies, and music and the structure of their social networks. As a team, we have also researched the use and diffusion of ‘privacy’ filters on and the socio-demographic roots of network homophily.

For nearly a decade, I taught history, politics, and popular culture at Harvard, where I was John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences. In that capacity, I have most recently been engaged in the study of Canadian politics, particularly in reference to the US and UK. I have just published a new book, The Origins of Canadian and American Political Differences (Harvard UP). I have also published research on 'why Americans don't play cricket (much)', why the US will never have a single payer health insurance system, and how American AIDS/HIV policy diverged from previous policy precedents regarding communicable disease. My first book, For The Common Good? American Civic Life and the Golden Age of Fraternity (Oxford UP) examines the role of secret societies, fraternal and sororal organizations around the turn of the last century. My training is in historical and cultural sociology.


Dec 21, 2011

RB 189: Peer Pressure

We’re so easily influenced by the habits and interests of our friends, you might think that social networks like Facebook would only magnify the power of peer pressure. But recent…

Sep 25, 2008

Tastes, Ties, and Time: Facebook data release

Attention social science researchers...Berkman Fellow Jason Kaufman reports that a first wave of data is now available through the Dataverse Network Project...