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Thomas D. Beamish

Thomas D. Beamish


2271 SS&H
Office Phone: 530 297 8089

Office Hours for Winter 2014 :

  • M 2:00PM - 3:00PM
  • W 2:00PM - 3:00PM


  1. Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
  2. M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Environment, Hazards, Risks
  • Social and Community Movements
  • Organizations, Institutions, and Economy
  • Science, Technology, and Innovation Studies

Research Statement

Throughout my career I have focused on the collective construction of rationality and how group or situated memberships shape interpretation, expectations, and preferences in ways that result in profound social and material consequences. “Memberships”—reflected in the places people live, the formal and informal groups and organizations that people belong to, and the social categories and identities people are given or with which they self-identify—always involve the intersection of institutions, organizations, and interpretive work that gives rise to distinctive “collective rationalities.” As an environmental and economic sociologist, and as a sociologist of risk, my research on such collective rationalities has generated several major research projects: social and organizational responses to an oil spill disaster; community movements and civic political response to risk and risky developments; organizational and institutional aspects (and impediments) associated with “green” innovation(s); and metropolitan level governance, urban growth, and climate change response and adaptation(s).

Selected Publications

    Community at Risk? Biodefense and the Collective Search for Security. Stanford University Press: Palo Alto, California. (Forthcoming, Spring 2015) see

    "Blueprinting for Climate Change? When Promise of Regional Transportation and Land Use Planning Outruns Performance Outcomes." (w/ Deb Niemeier and Ryken Grattet) Submitted to Environment & Planning C: Government & Policy. (Forthcoming, Winter 2015)

    “Institutionalization: Social Heuristics, Economic Decisions, and Innovation Adoption.” (w/ Nicole W. Biggart). In Institutions and Ideals:  Phillip Selznick’s Lasting Legacy for Organizational Scholarship. Matthew S. Kraatz (ed.). Research in the Sociology of Organizations. Vol. 44, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. (Forthcoming, Winter 2015).

    “The Role of Social Heuristics in Project Centered Production Networks: Insights from the Commercial Construction Industry.” (w/ Nicole W. Biggart) Engineering Project Organization Journal. (2011) Vol. 1, Issue 4.

    "Mesoeconomics: Business Cycles, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Crisis in Commercial Building Markets." (w/ Nicole W. Biggart) in Markets on Trial: The Economic Sociology of the U.S. Financial Crisis. Research in Sociology of Organizations, Edited by Michael Lounsbury and Paul Hirsch. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. (Forthcoming 2010)

    Alliance-Building Across Social Movements: Bridging Difference in a Peace and Justice Coalition.” (w/ Amy Luebbers) Social Problems. (forthcoming) November, Volume 56, Number 4.

    "Economic Sociology in the Next Decade and Beyond.American Behavioral Scientist. (2007) Vol. 50, No. 8, 993-1014.

    The Economic Sociology of Conventions: Habit, Custom, Practice and Routine in Market Order." (w/ Nicole W. Biggart) Annual Review of Sociology. (2003) 29:443–64.

    Silent Spill: The Organization of Industrial Crisis. (2002) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Series title: Urban and Industrial Environments.)


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

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

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