Prof. Gad Yair

Full Time Faculty, Sociology and Anthropology, Full Professor
Recent Forum Discussion: Papers per Dollar

Research Agenda

When my department chair announced that I got a position, back in 1994, he requested me to have a more focused ‘track record' of publications. ‘In the future please chart a main focus so we can promote you,' he said. He was concerned because my first papers – authored as an undergrad or grad student – were ‘all over': From long-distance runners to the Eurovision Song Contest, from excellence in education to family inheritance regulations. In hindsight, I haven't made the lives of my promotion committees easy. I did make it to a Full Professor, and I have written books and papers, but my tendency to spread my interests all over proved intractable. I still write about education, lower and higher. I still write about culture. Mostly lower. I study German, Israeli and American culture, using breadth of perspective over focus. I have published about philosophers and sociological giants (e.g., Pierre Bourdieu, Karl Marx and Max Weber) but used film and literature in order to make sense of their oeuvres. I recently wrote about Israel Prize laureates, but also reviewed two decades of Eurovision studies. I focus on science, but do so from a cultural perspective, integrating various kinds of data to understand its limits and possibilities. In some projects I use quantitative methods, in others I rely on qualitative software. I used network models and hierarchical linear models and clustering techniques - but also Atlas ti for qualitative analysis. Whatever helps.

Some of my publications are meant for general audiences. I also try improving higher education – hence this website that you are reading. I developed it. I mean the IP. I was also in charge of most student surveys at Hebrew University and estimating - and fighting - dropout.


I am currently on sabbatical, serving as an Israel Institute visiting professor at MIT Sloan school of Management (2018-20).