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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)


Building on several years of researching and pondering the creativity of 'low-skilled' migrants as they imagine their future lives abroad (though never considered to be part of the creative class), as well as the creative entrepreneurship within a 'migration industry,' my research with John Dale (George Mason), explores a "sociology of prospective thinking and imagination," in the context of a digital coding of human cognition (as performance) via software.

I'm engaged in four inter-related research agendas focused on a sociology of thinking and imagination, all with collaborator John Dale: (1) The historical invention and management of "creativity" as ideology, especially the role of the social sciences in its construction since the 1940s (current book project: "Inventing Creativity"); (2) the dynamic evolution of the current conceptions and deployments of creative instruments (organs) in an age of cyborgs and artificial intelligence, especially in the domains of software-assisted artistic production and pedagogy in higher-education; (3) 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; (4) the growth of the measurement of creativity, innovation, and social impact among social entrepreneurs, Big Ed investors and administrators, and big data projects understood through a sociology of rights practices and the cognitive sociology of beliefs and utopias.

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 regionally.


    • 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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Upcoming Events
Faculty Meeting Apr 18, 2014 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM — Boardroom
Colloquium: David Harding - Effects of Incarceration on Employment and Recidivism: Evidence from a Natural Experiment Apr 25, 2014 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM — Andrews Conference Room
PI Workshop - Tim Gutierrez Apr 25, 2014 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM — Boardroom
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