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Jeffrey Swindle

Postdoctoral FellowPh.D., University of Michigan


I completed my Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Michigan in 2020 and am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin’s Population Research Center. My research focuses on the causes and consequences of cultural scripts. How do cultural scripts spread across the world and does people’s exposure to cultural scripts affect their views and behavior? I study the importance of cultural scripts on several topics, including current work on gender violence and migration. My research is global in orientation. I have published analyses of societies in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Work from my dissertation analyzes the flow and influence of cultural scripts about intimate partner violence in Malawi. I assess the role of international organizations and domestic brokers in spreading such scripts in Malawi, and I examine how people’s exposure to these scripts affects their attitudes about intimate partner violence and women’s self-reports of experiencing abuse. I identify specific mechanisms of script diffusion and measure their content, which I then link to national surveys to test their individual-level effects. My research advances understanding of globalization by examining the cross-national dissemination and effects of cultural scripts at the level of individual people. 

In a second stream of my research, I examine the importance of people’s ascription to cultural scripts in their decision to migrate. In collaborative work in Nepal, my collaborators and I evaluate whether people’s varying material aspirations, attitudes about gender relations, beliefs about causation, and ideals about societal development influence their likelihood of migrating and their destination. Our work collectively highlights ideational components of demographic processes.  

I am also engaged in research on national stereotypes, including how they inform public opinion and their appearance over time in books. 

Curriculum Vitae

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