Fabien Accominotti

Position title: Assistant Professor of Sociology

Email: accominotti@wisc.edu

8128 Sewell Social Sciences

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Research Interest Statement:

My work, which lies at the intersection of cultural sociology, economic sociology, and stratification research, explores the formation of status hierarchies and how they fuel inequality in society. Empirically, I focus on unsettled fields, uncertain markets, and organizations, which I use to study how we come to view different people as unequally valuable and how this affects their outcomes. I have written on the construction of value beliefs in the art world, the emergence of cultural hierarchy as a dimension of social class in Gilded Age America, and processes of consecration that entrench faith in hierarchies of worthiness. My latest project uses experimental designs to show how, in a variety of social settings, the quantification of merit through ratings and scores fuels inequality in the rewards received by the winners and losers of meritocratic contests. Prior to joining UW-Madison I taught at the London School of Economics, where I remain a faculty affiliate at the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute.


Ph.D., Columbia University,  2015

Departmental Areas of Interest:

Culture, Economic Sociology, Social Stratification, Methods and Statistics, Comparative-Historical Sociology, Class Analysis and Historical Change, General Social Theory

Recent Publications

Accominotti, Fabien 2021. “The Aesthetics of Hierarchy.” Forthcoming, British Journal of Sociology.

Accominotti, Fabien and Daniel Tadmon. 2020. “How the Reification of Merit Breeds Inequality: Theory and Experimental Evidence.” LSE International Inequalities Institute Working Paper Series 42: 1-37.

Accominotti, Fabien 2019. “Consecration as a Population-Level Phenomenon.” American Behavioral Scientist 65: 9-24.

Accominotti, Fabien, Shamus Khan, and Adam Storer. 2018. “How Cultural Capital Emerged in Gilded Age America: Musical Purification and Cross-Class Inclusion at the New York Philharmonic.” American Journal of Sociology 123: 1743-1783.

• Charles Tilly Best Article Award, ASA Comparative-Historical Sociology Section, 2020.
• Honorable Mention, Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award, ASA Consumers and Consumption Section, 2019.


Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Public Lecture: “How the Reification of Merit Breeds Inequality: Theory and Experimental Evidence” (June 2019)

Especially Big Data Podcast, Episode 5: “The Statistical Symphony” (December 2017)