I joined the Department of Sociology at LSE as an Assistant Professor after receiving my PhD from Columbia University. I study social status and status-based inequality: why people and groups are perceived as more or less valuable, and how this affects their outcomes. My first book, to be published by Princeton University Press, explores the role of the market in the consecration of artists in Paris between 1870 and 1930. Here I show how in the heyday of French modern art, market institutions were instrumental in shaping the value of artists by upholding the belief that different artists had different quality. This is what I refer to as consecration, a previously under-theorized process of valuation and a powerful driver of inequality. You can read a more detailed description of the book here.
My current research brings my interest in status to bear on broader issues of social inequality and social stratification. In a project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, I examine the emergence of cultural capital and its role in cementing the status of elites in Gilded Age America. Through the quantitative mining of several decades of subscriber data at one of the foremost cultural institutions in the United States, I take a fresh look at classic sociological theory on culture and elite dominance. The database for that project is publicly available here. My latest project uses experimental designs to test how, in organizational settings, selection procedures shape the willingness of observers to accept inequality in the rewards received by winners and losers of selection processes.
At LSE I co-organize the Sociology Department’s Research Seminar Series, as well as the Inequalities seminar at the International Inequalities Institute.
Market Chains: Consecration and Creativity in the Market for Modern Art. Book manuscript under contract, Princeton University Press.
Published and forthcoming articles
Fabien Accominotti, Shamus Khan, and Adam Storer. “How Cultural Capital Emerged in Gilded Age America: Musical Purification and Cross-Class Inclusion at the New York Philharmonic.” Forthcoming, American Journal of Sociology.
Fabien Accominotti. “Retrospective Consecration as a Population-Level Phenomenon.” Forthcoming, American Behavioral Scientist.
Fabien Accominotti. “Creativity from Interaction: Artistic Movements and the Creativity Careers of Modern Painters.” Poetics 37: 267-294 (June 2009).
Fabien Accominotti. “Market and Hierarchy: The Social Structure of Production Decisions in a Cultural Market.” Histoire & Mesure 23: 177-218 (December 2008).
“A Theory of Consecration: Intermediation and the Formation of Economic Value in the Market for Modern Art.”
“Qualities and Inequalities: How the Interplay of Quality Signals Shapes Winner-Take-All Inequality.”
“Status Signaling, Reciprocity, and Favor Exchange Participation.”
“Beyond the Beat: Musicians Building Community in Nashville, by Daniel B. Cornfield.” American Journal of Sociology 122: 2015-2017 (May 2017).
“A Portrait of the Artist as a Prophet: Book Review of Manet: A Symbolic Revolution, by Pierre Bourdieu.” European Journal of Sociology 56: 433-437 (December 2015).