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David Kyle Ph.D.

David Kyle, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

2265 SS&H

Office Hours for :

  • Thursday 1:00-3:00


  1. Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University (Sociology)
  2. B.A., Loyola University (Psychology)


Most migrants imagining their future lives abroad and engaging in several entrepreneurial activities are never considered to be part of the "creative class." On the other hand many professionals such as accountants are now automatically included in the category. Why? This is a phenomenon that transcends Richard Florida's formulation--"creativity" has become a Zeitgeist following a relatively short academic and popular trajectory within all areas of social life. Following my work on transnational migration, migration industries, and ethnic entrepreneurs in Ecuador, I'm engaged in three interrelated research agendas with John Dale (George Mason): (1) The historical invention and institutional management of "creativity," especially the role of the social sciences in its construction since the 1940s (current book project: Inventing Creativity); (2) how we think about big decisions or 'leaps' and make them, with special attention to the role of 'cognitive migration' (also with Saara Koikkalainen, University of Lapland) and prospective thinking (via mental time travel), including machine-mediated decision-making, and the consequences for both low- and high-skilled labor mobility; (3) the growth of the measurement of creativity, innovation, and social impact among social entrepreneurs, Big Ed investors and administrators, and big data projects.

Empirical research projects concern human mobility in the context of climate change and global health scenarios (California and Mexico), social entrepreneurs and social impact investors (Mexico, Myanmar, and other international sites). My research is multi-method, quantitative and qualitative, with an historical and cross-disciplinary bent.

I've taught jazz piano privately for ten years and perform with improvisational musical groups.


    • SOC 46a, Social Research Methods
    • SOC 1, Introduction to Sociology (Cyborg Edition)
    • SOC/ IRE 104 International Mobility
    • SOC 295 Sociology of Creativity

    Other Campus Affiliations

    • UC Global Health Institute
    • John Muir Institute on the Environment

1283 Social Sciences & 
University of California, 
One Shields Avenue 
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0782 phone
(530) 752-0783 fax

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