Andrew W. Mellon Penn Faculty Fellow in the Humanities
2008—2009 Forum on Change
Associate Professor of Sociology
The Knowledge Industries and the Changing Postindustrial City
In recent decades, former manufacturing cities like Philadelphia have transformed into global postindustrial centers dominated by local and international firms specializing in knowledge creation and symbolic and/or cultural production. I plan on researching emerging urban initiatives that attempt to forge links among knowledge-based industries in the new economy, young members of the “creative class,” and the postindustrial cities in which they circulate. By investigating four knowledge-based industries based in postindustrial cities that employ young college graduates— management consulting, advertising and public relations, television production, and software design—I hope to gain insight into how these professions have rapidly changed over time, and how the professional lives of young people are shaped by the ever-evolving postindustrial city.