Peter McMahan

PhD Student

Department of Sociology

University of Chicago


My work examines the creation and negotiation of shared social institutions. I look at the role of structure, medium, and context in determining the coherence of shared norms and implicit knowledge.

Most recently, I have been researching adolescent social status using a relational framework. This work links macro-level status hierarchies to the interpersonal interactions where they are realized and maintained, emphasizing the importance of both global and local status orders in studentsā€˜ social contexts.

I focus on mathematical, statistical and computational methods, including network analysis, Bayesian inference, stochastic modeling, and (occasionally) agent-based models.


I regularly co-teach (with Michael Castelle) an interdisciplinary course at the University of Chicago on computational methods for the social sciences. The course’s most recent syllabus can be found on the course website.

I have also been a TA for a number of courses, including Statistical Methods of Research (with Stephen Raudenbush), Internet and Society (with James Evans), and Content Analysis (with James Evans)

Curriculum Vitae