Benjamin Shestakofsky, Ph.D.

Benjamin Shestakofsky

Assistant Professor of Sociology


McNeil 228


Ph.D. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 2018
M.A. Sociology, University of California, Berkeley 2014
B.A. Sociology and American Studies, Wesleyan University, 2005

Research Interests

Benjamin Shestakofsky’s research centers on how digital technologies are affecting work and employment, organizations, and economic exchange.

His book project investigates how the imperatives of venture capital investors structure the relationship between work and technology in startup companies. He draws on 19 months of participant-observation research to examine the consequences of high-velocity, high-risk organizational change for an entrepreneurial firm’s workers. The manuscript is under contract with the University of California Press.

Articles based on this project have been awarded the 2019 W. Richard Scott Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the ASA's Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work, and the 2021 Star-Nelkin Paper Award from the ASA's Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology. Benjamin's ongoing projects investigate the sociology of artificial intelligence; the governance of digital platforms; and the relationship between venture capital, organizational cultures, and organizational change.

Benjamin’s research has been supported by the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy and the UC Berkeley Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. His work has been featured in the Financial TimesAxios, and in a publication of the World Economic Forum. Benjamin is a member of the international editorial board of Work and Occupations.

Selected Publications

K. Joyce, L. Smith-Doerr, S. Alegria, S. Bell, T. Cruz, S. Hoffman, S. Umoja Noble, and B. Shestakofsky. 2021. “Toward a Sociology of Artificial Intelligence: A Call for Research on Inequalities and Structural Change.” Socius 7:1-11.

B. Shestakofsky and S. Kelkar. 2020. “Making Platforms Work: Relationship Labor and the Management of Publics.” Theory and Society 49:863-896.

B. Shestakofsky. 2020. "Stepping Back to Move Forward: Centering Capital in Discussions of Technology and the Future of Work." Communication and the Public 5(3-4):129-133.

B. Shestakofsky. 2017. "Working Algorithms: Software Automation and the Future of Work." Work and Occupations 44(4):376-423.

CV (file)