Thomas received his Ph. D. in Social Sciences from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy. He holds an M.A. from Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen He also studied at the University of California at San Diego and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Areas of Specialization
- Social Movements / Collective Behavior
- New Religious Movements
- Quantitative Methodology
- Textual Analyses
- Historical-Comparative Methodology
- Sociology of Knowledge
- Ph.D. Dissertation on the New Age Movement
- "The Hegemony of Multiculturalism", Politicka misao (Croatian Political Science Review) 38 (5/2002): 48-61.
Nationalization vs. Europeanization vs. Globalization of Issues that Should Belong to the European Public Sphere
Paper presented at the ESA Conference "New Directions in European Media" Aristotle University Thessaloniki, November 5-7, 2004.
Paper presented at the Biannual RC-33 Meeting, Amsterdam, August 17-20, 2004.
Systematizing the empirical identification of frames using qualitative data analysis software
Paper Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 14-17, 2004.
Paper presented to Session PCR13 (Methods, Research, Concepts) at the IAMCR Annual Meeting, Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 25-30, 2004.
Why dense networks help recruitment to new social movements, but obstruct recruitment to the New Age movement
presented at the ASA Annual Meeting 1999
While most social movements recruit their members from dense, submerged networks, movements rooted in Middle America -- such as New Age and other marketed social movements -- recruit individuals who precisely lack an embeddedness in dense, emotionally gratifying networks. As a consequence of these differential recruitment patterns, Middle American movements do not contain grassroots groups. Such grassroots groups have significantly contributed to the successful production of collective action by new social (and to a lesser extent poor people's) movements.
presented at the
Annual Meeting 1999
Genesis and consequences of sociology´s segmented differentiation are discussed. It is argued that sociology´s current differentiation is not a result of theoretical considerations, but instead has been largely determined by social developments. In particular, social movements have increased their grip on sociological theory, as many activist scholars have a greater allegiance to their movement than to the academy. The commercialization of sociological literature has put some additional extra-scientific pressures on the discipline. As a consequence, sociology has become organizationally proliferated along lines that have little to do with intra-disciplinary developments. This dysfunctional segmentation has led to a weakening of sociology towards other extra-disciplinary influences. Namely, particularly in so-called «quantitative sociology,» a growing dependency on commercial enterprises in the fields of data collection and data analysis can be observed.
presented at the
Annual Meeting 1998
The quality of the relationship between the organization of a social movement and its collective identity is still largely unexplored. The central hypothesis of this essay posits that resource poor movements enjoying little institutional support are likely to develop universalistic and traditionally coded collective identities, while movements whose members command considerable amounts of tangible resources and cultural capital tend to develop primordially coded identities. The plausibility of this hypothesis is illustrated with the cases of the New Age and feminist movements.