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Mike Owen Benediktsson

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Mike Owen Benediktsson is an urban and cultural sociologist who joined Hunter College in 2011 after completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at Princeton University.

Benediktsson's research focuses on the role of material objects in social life. Recent and ongoing projects have covered a wide range of urban settings and social contexts, from vacant homes and divided highways in the New Jersey suburbs, to smartphones and turnstiles in the New York City subway system. A mixed-method researcher, Benediktsson has published articles in City & Community, Urban Geography, Sociological Forum, Social Forces, and Symbolic Interaction, among other publications. He is currently working on a book manuscript that investigates the social life of six objects commonly found in and around New York City.The common denominator in his work is the capacity of material objects to reflect, reproduce, or change normative conceptions of human behavior.

Benediktsson teaches in the sociology department at Hunter, the Graduate Applied Digital Sociology (ADS) program, and Macaulay Honors College. In addition to Urban Sociology, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the sociology of old and new media, and occasionally teaches contemporary social theory. At Macaulay, he coordinates The Peopling of New York City, one of the four City Seminars. From 2013 to 2015, Benediktsson organized the Digital Communities, Digital Media workshop, a faculty research seminar hosted by the sociology department at Hunter. He seeks to involve his undergraduate and graduate students in his research whenever possible.

When he’s not at Hunter, Benediktsson can be found on the soccer fields of central Brooklyn or in a trout stream in the Catskills. He lives in Flatbush with his wife and two kids.


Book Manuscript:

  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen. In the Midst of Things: The Social Life of Urban Artifacts. 

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen, Brian Lamberta, and Erika Larsen. (2016). “Taming a Chaotic Concept: Gentrification and Segmented Consumption in Brooklyn, 2002-2012.” Forthcoming in Urban Geography. Advance online publication: DOI:10.1080/02723638.2015.1096113
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen. (2016). “Beyond the Sidewalk: Pedestrian Risk and Material Mismatch in the American Suburbs.” Forthcoming in Mobilities. Advance online publication: DOI:10.1080/17450101.2015.1019748.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen, Brian Lamberta, and Sarah Van Norden. (2015). “The Endangered Enclave: Hispanic-Owned Business Displacement in Brooklyn, 2002-2012.” Metropolitics. October 6.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen. (2015). “Hybrid Strategies: Allocating Involvement in the Digital Age.” Symbolic Interaction. 38(3): 331-351. With Bradley Kingston, Daniel Alexander, Jhanidya Bermeo, Joseph Contreras, Wendy T. Harper, Jon Henkin, Fausto Lopez, Randy Wagenheim, and Aaron Williams.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen. (2014) “Territories of Concern: Vacant Housing and Perceived Disorder on Three Suburban Blocks." City & Community. 13(3): 191-213.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen (2012). "Bridging and Bonding in the Academic Melting Pot: Cultural Resources and Network Diversity." Sociological Forum 27(1): 46-69.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen (2010). "The Deviant Organization and the Bad Apple CEO: Ideology and Accountability in Media Coverage of Corporate Scandals." Social Forces 88(5): 2189-2216.

Popular Press:

  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen, Brian Lamberta and Erika Larsen (2014). “The Real Small Business Killer.” Daily News. October 12. Opinion Page.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen and Kate Slevin. (2009). "Don't Leave Pedestrians Out of Infrastructure Equation." Hartford Courant. February 15. Editorial Page.
  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen. 2001. "The School of Americas by Any Other Name." The Nation. February 12.

Book Reviews:

  • Benediktsson, Mike Owen. 2014. “Mobilities: New Perspectives in Transport and Society.” Contemporary Sociology. 43(6): 842-843.


Mike's Personal Website 


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Faculty Publications

Across Generations
Building Popular Power
Fighting To Learn
High Profile Crimes
New York and Amsterdam
One Out of These
Opting Out
Questioning The Veil
Sadomasochism In Everyday Life
Seeing The Light
Sewing Women
Strangers No More
The Unhappy Divorce of Sociology and Psychoanalysis
Torture Twilight of Empire
Immigration and Social Capital in the Age of Social Media
A Dream Denied
Being a Scholar in the Digital Era
Foucault's Orient
Oh Book Cover
Opting In
White Lies
Cyber Racism
Going Public
Digital Sociologies
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