Paul James Morgan

Lecturer

Taram SniezekI was born and raised in hot and sunny Yuma, AZ (well… technically raised in Somerton but its name hasn’t appeared in a movie so no one has heard of it) which, if Wikipedia can be trusted, is the sunniest city in the world. I still maintain that the record high temperature of 124 was actually 128, a cool 119 if you were in the shade. This is based on a memory of local news coverage, which my 7th grade science project showed to be almost always wrong (the news coverage, not my memory).

In 2007, I received my BS in Psychology and Applied Sociology from Northern Arizona University.  After this, I went to the University of California, Irvine where I received my PhD in Sociology in 2016.

My research tends to focus on the economy, cultural production, gender, and work/labor with a specific application to the realm of crafts.  I predominately utilize interviews, ethnography, and content analysis as data collection and analysis techniques, though I’m always keeping my eyes out for sources of quantitative data that relate to the above topics (like the International Social Survey Programme’s 2007 wave, which focused on “Leisure Time and Sports” and included various questions on crafting).

In my free time, I can often be found making pottery, thrifting, hunting for records, or veganizing as many recipes as I can.

Education

2016 – PhD in Sociology;  University of California, Irvine

2007 – BS in Psychology and Applied Sociology, Family Studies Emphasis; Northern Arizona University

​Research Interests

  • Economic Sociology
  • Sociology of Culture
  • Gender
  • Organizations
  • Work and Labor
  • Research Methodology

Current Research

“Novel Consumption Spaces: Craft Fairs and Consumption in Temporary Markets.”

This paper highlights the ways in which marketspaces that are temporary in nature require differing engagements with consumption than do brick-and-mortar stores or outdoor markets such as bazaars.  Through ethnographic observation at fairs and interviews with sellers, it focuses on the ways in which they must navigate interaction and selling in news ways to foster both long-term and short-term engagement.

“Learning the Science of Craft: The Sharing of Ceramics Knowledge and Technique.” 

This project aims to understand the ways in which ceramicists share knowledge and information via popular press. Ceramics Monthly has been a primary outlet for knowledge sharing and technical advice to the ceramics community since its inception in 1953.  Through a content analysis of articles, this projects looks at the ways in which complex scientific knowledge (from glaze chemistry to molecular change brought about through firing techniques) is navigated both with and without formal scientific training by educators, professional ceramicists, and hobbyists alike.  The practical nature of this applied knowledge is situated within the broader literatures around arts and crafts education.