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Claudio Benzecry

Professor of Communication Studies and Sociology

Area(s) of Interest

Sociology of the Arts, Cultural Production, Latin America, Globalization


Claudio E. Benzecry is Professor of Communication Studies and Sociology at Northwestern University. His book The Opera Fanatic. Ethnography of an Obsession (University of Chicago Press, 2011) received the Mary Douglas Award for best book in the Sociology of Culture (2012), and Honorable mention for the ASA Distinguished Book award (2014). The book was named one of 10 major theory books since 2000 by Contemporary Sociology, 2013.

He is also the recipient of the Lewis Coser Award for Agenda Theoretical Setting (2023) and winner of the Junior Theorist Award (2015), both awards by the Theory Section of the ASA.

Claudio is the editor of four volumes on theory, culture, and knowledge, including Social Theory Now (with Monika Krause and Isaac Reed, University of Chicago Press, 2017). He has published articles on sociological theory, sociology of culture, and the arts in venues such as Sociological Theory, Theory, Culture & Society, British Journal of Sociology, and Theory & Society, among many others. In 2019 he started his tenure as co-Editor in Chief of Qualitative Sociology.

His latest book, The Perfect Fit. Creative Work in the Global Shoe Industry (University of Chicago Press) is based on a five-year ethnographic research on fashion, creativity, and globalization, following how a shoe is imagined, sketched, designed, developed, and produced in between the US, Europe, Brazil, and China.

He’s currently working on three projects: a) a book on Culture and Creativity, together with Vanina Leschziner (Toronto) for Polity Press; b) a book in Spanish on how to validate, write and justify qualitative data (for Siglo XXI editors); c) an ethnography of art custodians in NYC museums and galleries, focusing on issues of subjectivity, materiality, temporality, and invisibility.

Courses Taught

MTS/ COMM 525- Special Topics Ethnographies of Culture


2022       The Perfect Fit: Creative Work in the Global Shoe Industry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2011       The Opera Fanatic. Ethnography of an Obsession. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Edited Volumes

2020       C.E. Benzecry, A. Deener and A. Lara-Millán (eds.) Archival Work as Qualitative Sociology. Special Issue  of Qualitative Sociology. Vol 43 (3).

2017       C.E. Benzecry, M. Krause and I. Reed (eds.) Social Theory Now. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2012       C. E. Benzecry (ed). Hacia una nueva sociología cultural: Mapas, dramas y prácticas. Edited volume          with an introductory study. Buenos Aires: Quilmes University Press. August 2012.

2010       C. E. Benzecry and M. Krause. Knowledge in Practice. Special Issue of Qualitative Sociology. Vol 33 (4).

Latest Articles in Journals

2023       “I Wonder if this is like a Saxophone.” An Interview with Howie Becker.” Qualitative Sociology 46 (2).

2023       “How do You Know? Seven Theses on Qualitative Sociology as Theory and Method.” International          Sociology 38 (1): 5-22. Lead article

relevant Links

BBC Radio 4, Thinking Allowed, "Footwear"