Ellian Carone

Ellian Carone Portrait

Position Title
Graduate Student

278 Social Sciences and Humanities


  • B.S. Drexel University - Psychology
  • M.S. Drexel University - Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • M.A. UC Davis - Sociology


As a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Davis, I critically study cultural practices of knowledge production and valuation using the resources of sociology of knowledge and cultural sociology.

Before coming to Davis, I earned a BS in Psychology and an MS in the interdisciplinary field of Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

Research Focus

My research focuses on how the production, measurement, and valuation of capacities such as expertise, skill, and reason as elements of individual and group identity constrain possibilities for more democratic dialogical practices. Specifically, I consider the ways in which individuals' meaning-making practices form beliefs that certain kinds of knowledge and experience are valuable at the exclusion of others, and how these delineations potentially reproduce social and material inequalities. Additionally, I am interested in ethnographically studying alternative conceptions of expertise, skill, and reason, as practiced by today’s students, educators, and workers, and whether these conceptions can reorient us toward more democratic distributions of authority.

My current project explores the epistemic value of leisure and play by delving into the participatory culture of Queer Table Top Role Playing Game (TTRPGs) creators. I examine the world of TTRPGs, whose history of epistemic valuations parallels scientistic and capitalistic justificatory systems that grant undue epistemic authority to particular social classes and identities. However, in recent years, TTRPGs have been claimed by marginalized communities to explore identity formation and the collective imagining of other possible worlds, paralleling speculative fiction and Afrofuturist interventions. At its core, my current project investigates how practices of leisure and play reinforce and resist the embodiment of dominant epistemic standards that establish difference, political ideologies, and notions of rationality through emerging forms of participatory culture.


Scholarly Publications:

  • Carone, Justin. “Fixing Value: History, Ethnography, and Material Ontologies of Deservingness in a Philadelphia Repair Shop.” History and Technology 33, no. 4 (October 2, 2017): 367–95. https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2018.1490603.
  • Carone, Justin. “Mechanical Testing.” In Between Making and Knowing: Tools in the History of Materials Research. WORLD SCIENTIFIC, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1142/11482.

Other Publications:

  • Carone, Justin. “Standards as Social Design Practice:” Standards Engineering, 2014, 12.
  • Carone, Justin, and Amy E Slaton. “Standards in Society: A Critical Research and Curricular Platform at Drexel University.” Standards Engineering, 2016, 3.


As an Instructor:

  • SOC 126 - Social Interaction
  • SOC 130 - Race Relations
  • SOC 007 - Race & Ethnicity

As a Teaching Assistant:

  • SOC 001 - Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 002 - Self & Society
  • SOC 003 - Social Problems
  • SOC 025 - Sociology of Popular Culture
  • SOC 46a - Introduction to Social Research
  • SOC 125 - Sociology of Culture
  • SOC 126 - Social Interaction
  • SOC 130 - Race Relations
  • SOC 132 - Sociology of Gender
  • SOC 138 - Economic SociologySOC 140 - Stratification
  • SOC 141 - Industrialization & Social Change
  • SOC 160 - Sociology of the Environment
  • SOC 165 - Death & Dying
  • HIST 193a - History of the Modern Middle East, 1750-1914

As a Guest Lecturer:

  • “Designing for Social Change: Problem Identification & the Production of Disability.” Guest lecture in undergraduate seminar, “History of Disabilities,” Department of History, Drexel University, September 29, 2016.
  • “Productivity, Skill & Virtue: F.W. Taylor & the Production of Human Difference.” Guest lecture in graduate seminar, “Technology, Progress & Determinism,” Center for Science, Technology & Society, Drexel University, May 20, 2015.
  • “STS, STEM & Destabilization.” Guest lecture in graduate seminar, “The Language of STEM,” English Language Center, Drexel University, March 20, 2015.
  • “Kensington: Skill & Repair in Community.” Talk at works-in-progress lunch, Center for Science, Technology & Society, Drexel University, December 3, 2014.
  • “Design, Identity & the Social Model of Disability.” Guest lecture in graduate seminar, “Explorations in Technology & Gender,” Department of History, Drexel University, February 25, 2014.


  • 2018 - UC Davis: Global Affairs Seed Grant
  • 2016 - Drexel University: Outstanding Promise Award
  • 2014 - American National Standards Institute: Excellent Paper Award