Frederick Wherry

Frederick Wherry's picture
Professor of Sociology
PhD, Princeton University
Areas of Interest: 
Cultural Sociology; Economic Sociology; Globalization; Ethnography; Field Methods.
493 College St, Room 407, New Haven, CT 06511-8907
Phone number: 
(203) 432-3793

Frederick Wherry is an economic and cultural sociologist who toggles between domestic and global investigations of money, value, and social life. Since 2008, he has published five books and a four volume encyclopedia. (Two more books are under contract, including the new Oxford Handbook of Consumption, edited with Ian Woodward.) He serves as vice-president of the Social Science History Association and will serve as president starting in November 2017. He is also chair-elect of the Economic Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association and past-chair of the Consumers and Consumption Section. He serves on the Policy Board of the Journal of Consumer Research and on the Advisory Board of Race in the Marketplace Network. At Yale he is co-director of the Center for Cultural Sociology. His work has explored how people use narratives, social ties, and dynamic performances to understand, contest, and transform the value of places and things. His work is now focused on financial inclusion and budgeting practices for low- and moderate-income consumers in the US and abroad. He is the co-editor (with Jennifer Lena and Greta Hsu) of the new book series at Stanford University Press: Culture and Economic Life. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in economic sociology (with an emphasis on inequality), consumption, and qualitative research design.



  • 2017. co-editor (with Nina Bandelj and Viviana Zelizer) Money Talks: How Money Really Works. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • 2015. General Editor (with Juliet Schor, Consulting Editor). The Sage Encyclopedia of Economics and Society, Volumes 1-4. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • 2012 The Culture of Markets. Malden, MA: Polity Press.
  • 2011 The Philadelphia Barrio: The Arts, Branding, and Neighborhood Transformation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • 2011 co-editor (with Nina Bandelj), The Cultural Wealth of Nations. Stanford: Stanford: University Press.
  • 2008 Global Markets and Local Crafts: Thailand and Costa Rica Compared. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


  • 2016. “Relational Accounting: A Cultural Approach,” American Journal of Cultural Sociology 4:131-156
  • 2015. “Economic Culture in the Public Sphere” (with Nina Bandelj and Lyn Spillman) In special issue edited by Bandelj, Spillman, & Wherry. European Journal of Sociology 56: 1-10.
  • 2015. “Fragments from an Ethnographer’s Field Guide: Skepticism, Thick Minimal Matches, and Maximal Theoretical Departures,” Ethnography.
  • 2014. “Analyzing the Culture of Markets,” Theory and Society 43: 421-436.
  • 2014. (with Jensen, Kent Wickstrøm and Shahamak Rezaei) “Cognitive effects on entrepreneurial intentions: A comparison of Chinese émigrés and their descendants with non-émigré Chinese.” International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 23: 252-277.
  • 2012. “Performance Circuits in the Marketplace,” Politics and Society 40 (2): 203-21.
  • 2008. “The Social Characterizations of Price: The Fool, the Faithful, the Frivolous, and the Frugal,” Sociological Theory 26(4): 363-379.
  • 2007. “Developing Impressions: Evidence from Costa Rica,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 610 (1): 217-31.
  • 2006. “The Social Sources of Authenticity in Global Handicraft Markets: Evidence from northern Thailand,” Journal of Consumer Culture 6 (1): 5-32.
  • 2006. “The Nation State, Identity Management, and Indigenous Crafts: Constructing Markets and Opportunities in Northwest Costa Rica,” Ethnic & Racial Studies 29 (1): 124-152.
  • 2004. “International Statistics and Social Structure: The Case of the Human Development Index,” International Review of Sociology 14 (2): 151-169.

Selected Book Chapters and Other Publications

  • 2017. “How Relational Accounting Matters.” Chapter 3 in Money Talks: How Money Really Works, edited by Nina Bandelj, Frederick Wherry, and Viviana Zelizer. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • 2017. (with Kristin S. Seefeldt and Anthony S. Alvarez). “Too Small to Help, Too Poor to Trust.” Contexts.
  • 2016. “Zelizer’s Approach in the American Academies.” La Vie des Idées.…
  • 2016. (with Nicholas Occhiuto) “Economic Sociology.” Oxford Online Bibliographies, Sociology, edited by J. Manza.
  • 2015. “Payday Loans Costs the Poor Billions, And There’s an Easy Fix.” New York Times, Op-Ed October 25.
  • 2013. “The Varieties of Value.” Contemporary Sociology 42: 183-189.
  • 2016. “The Cultural Sociology of Markets,” In The Handbook of Cultural Sociologyedited by D. Inglis and A. Almila.
  • 2014 “Sociology of Money,” International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • 2014 “Moral Aspects of Money,” Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Consumption
  • 2011 “The Sociology of Money” & “Consumption” in The Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture, edited by D. Southerton. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
  • 2010 “The Sacred and the Profane in the Marketplace,” in Handbook of the Sociology of Morality, edited by S. Hitlin and S. Vaisey. New York: Springer Press. 
  • 2010 “Producing the Character of Place,” Journal of Urban History 36 (4): 556-560. 

Courses and Seminars


  • SOCY 116b, Markets, Culture, and Globalization
  • SOCY 256b Advertising, Consumption, and Society
  • SOCY 321/EPE 477, Sociology of Markets
  • SOCY 493/494, Senior Thesis Seminar


  • SOCY 545, Sociology of Markets
  • SOCY 658, Qualitative Research Design