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Stevens, Mitchell

Mitchell Stevens
Mitchell Stevens
Academic Title 
Associate Professor
Other Titles 

Associate Professor of Sociology (by courtesy)

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business (by courtesy)

Director, Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research (SCANCOR)

Contact Information
(650) 723-4536
BC 144
Program Affiliations 
SHIPS (PhD): Educational Policy
SHIPS (PhD): Higher Education
SHIPS (PhD): Organization Studies
SHIPS (PhD): Social Sciences in Education
SHIPS (PhD): Sociology of Education
Research Interests 
Academic Restructuring
Alternative Schooling
Decision Making
Educational Policy
Higher Education
Home Schooling
Research Design
Research Methods

With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Stevens is directing a project with Stanford colleague Michael Kirst to develop a more comprehensive "supply-side" social science of U.S. colleges and universities. He also is at work on a large-scale study of how U.S. universities organize research and instruction about the rest of the world.

Stevens is an organizational sociologist with longstanding interests in the quantification of educational processes, alternative educational forms, and the formal organization of knowledge.

"Despite wide consensus among higher education leaders that U.S. universities are undergoing a process of 'globalization,' there is little agreement about just what globalization means, what propels it, or what intellectual, political, and ethical consequences it will bring for American higher education. There is little systematic empirical research on the range of things often described by the term globalization: the proliferation of satellite campuses and cooperative agreements between schools; the growing scale and complexity of student flows across national borders; the diffusion of institutional and curricular norms; and the 'internationalization' of instructional programs, to name just a few. Whatever its content, there is no clear social science research agenda or intellectual framework for assessing the globalization of U.S. higher education."

- from "Academic Internationalism: U.S. Universities in Transition," 2009

  • PhD, Northwestern University, 1996
  • BA, Macalester College, 1988

2003-2009: Associate Professor, New York University

1995-2003: Assistant to Associate Professor, Hamilton College

  • EDUC 418 Case Study Research
  • EDUC 355 Higher Education and Society
  • EDUC 250a Measurement and Inquiry in Education
  • EDUC 199 Undergraduate Honors Seminar

"A Sociology of Quantification" (w/ Wendy Nelson Espeland), European Journal of Sociology XLIX (2008):401-436.

"Sieve, Incubator, Temple, Hub: Empirical and Theoretical Advances in the Sociology of Higher Education" (w/ Elizabeth A. Armstrong and Richard Arum), Annual Review of Sociology 34 (2008):127-151.

"Culture and Education," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 619 (2008):97-113.

Creating a Class: College Admissions and the Education of Elites, Harvard University Press, 2007.

Kingdom of Children: Culture and Controversy in the Home Schooling Movement, Princeton University Press, 2001.

"Ambivalent Internationals: How the U.S. Social Sciences Organize Inquiry about the Rest of the World" (w/ Cynthia Miller-Idriss and Seteney Shami)

"Sports and Status in U.S. Higher Education" (w/ Arie Lifschitz and Michael Sauder)

"Toward a New Historical Sociology of U.S. Higher Education"