Welcome to the Sociology Department

FAC McLean PaulPaul McLean
Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1996

Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901

Office: Davison Hall, 101C
Office Phone: 848-932-7620
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Paul McLean's research has focused on exploring the connections between multiple kinds of social networks—marriage networks, economic networks, and political patronage networks chiefly—and describing the cultural practices and identities that actors adopt to move within and across these networks. He has examined the development of elaborate strategies of self-presentation and the emergence of a quasi-modern conception of the self in Renaissance Florence in articles (AJS 104: 51-91 [1998], CSSH 47: 638-64 [2005]) and in a book from Duke University Press.

He has also conducted collaborative research on Florence, studying Florentine market structure in conjunction with John Padgett of the University of Chicago (T&S 26: 209-44 [1997], AJS 111: 1463-1568 [2006], Journal of Modern History 83: 1-47), and the structure and 'logics' of interpersonal credit exchange with Neha Gondal of Boston University (EJS/AES 55: 135-76 [2014] , Social Networks 35: 499-513 [2013], Poetics 41: 122-50 [2013]). A recent grant from the Neubauer Foundation at the University of Chicago, awarded to a group of PIs including Bill Connell of Seton Hall University, John Padgett, John McCormick and Niall Atkinson of the University of Chicago, and McLean will hopefully permit digitization of more documents and data from the Florentine archives and expansion of the cluster of research projects mentioned above.

In addition, McLean has researched the political organization of Polish elites in the early modern period (T&S 33: 167-212 [2004], Annals 636: 88-110 [2011]), looking at that organization and its evolution as the product of multiple-network dynamics.

More recent interests include examination of the culture of videogame play (with Preeti Khanolkar in Soc Forum 27: 961-85 [2012]), a project that may eventually grow into a larger examination of social interaction dynamics in online gameplay; and a study of network structures, networking dynamics, and career trajectories among academics across multiple disciplines.