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Nicol, Olivia

Assistant Professor in Sociology

Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore


Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2015/2016

Ph.D. Institution

Columbia University, United States


I conducted my doctoral research in the sociology department at Columbia University. My dissertation focuses on the attribution of responsibility during the financial crisis in the United States (2007-2010). Anger over the crisis triggered a burning question: who is responsible for this disaster? I analyze the production of – and response to – a discourse of accusation for the crisis. I examine media excerpts drawn from three main American newspapers (The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal and USA Today), and interviews conducted in three Wall Street banks. Overall, my work participates in the renewed interest in issues of morality in economic and organizational sociology. I am interested in the reassessment of acceptable economic practices and state intervention happening in ‘unsettled times’ – when moral views become both highly explicit and malleable.
I have gained a wide and diverse teaching experience over the course of the years. I taught both at the undergraduate and the graduate level, in sociology departments and in business schools, in the United States and in Europe. My teaching interests include economic and organizational sociology, morals and markets, business ethics, sociology of deviance and social control.
In general, my research interests revolve around the concept of responsibility, and mechanisms of attribution of responsibility. I am interested in political conflicts emerging in the aftermath of major disasters.
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