Social Control and the Reporting of Wrongdoing

The reporting of wrongdoing to authorities is a common occurrence in both organizations and polities. Despite going by various names--denouncing, whistleblowing, tattling, ratting, etc.--this work develops a general theory of such behavior. It addresses two questions: how do authorities structure institutions in order to facilitate the reporting of wrongdoing? And why do individuals participate? These questions are evaluated through an analysis of empirical settings including the Spanish Inquisition, Romanov Russia and Nazi Germany, along with contemporary settings today.

Bergemann, Patrick. 2019. Judge Thy Neighbor: Denunciations in the Spanish Inquisition, Romanov Russia, and Nazi Germany. Columbia University Press.

Bergemann, Patrick. 2017. “Denunciation and Social Control.” American Sociological Review, 82(2): 384:406.

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Added Effect of Boardinghouse Co-Residence on Party and Regional Similarities, 1825-1841
Informal Relationships and Voting

This project explores the ways in which informal relationships and formal party structures interact to influence Congressional voting behavior. The setting for this study is the early 1800s, when the lack of infractructure in Washington, D.C. led Congressmen to live together in boardinghouses. An analysis of boardinghouse co-residency reveals that sharing a house shaped voting behavior, and that cross-cutting relationships muted partisanship in times of acute polarization. These findings suggest one explanation for the extreme polarization present in the current Congress--the decreasing amount of time Congressmen spend together informally.

Parigi, Paolo and Patrick Bergemann. 2016. “Strange Bedfellows: Informal Relationships and Political Preference Formation Within Boardinghouses, 1825-1841.” American Journal of Sociology, 122(2): 501-531.

Authority Structures and Tie Formation

An additional topic of research studies the ways in which authority structures are able to influence or dictate the formation of informal ties within an organizational context. To the extent that organizations can affect the social relationships of their constituents, they can indirectly influence behavior at the individual level. Investigating these dynamics are three projects that include a study of the social determinants of attrition, an evaluation of an intra-organizational networking event, and an assessment of the effectiveness of a school administration in promoting diverse ties among new MBA students.

Tie Formation During an Intra-Organizational Networking Event, Colored by Employee Region