Taylor Whitten Brown

Sociology PhD Candidate, Duke University

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Duke University (2nd year), with an MA in sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MSc in evidence-based social intervention from the University of Oxford. I am currently away from my department, being hosted by INCITE at Columbia University while I conduct research in NYC.

I study how group inequalities persist within markets despite cultural change. Specifically, I focus on gender inequality and the role of status systems in sustaining disparity. I'm also very involved with the discipline of computational social science and its application to social media studies. My MSc focused on the design and evaluation of randomized-controlled trials (@DSPI_Oxford), and my MA focused on community norm consensus and its link to individual behavior--specifically intimate partner violence.

Before starting my PhD, I fulfilled an appointment at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC. I have also worked in international development, completed internships in Italy and in Ghana, and served in leadership positions for a number of women's organizations.  


On a personal note, I enjoy witnessing and creating art (see About Me).

I adore what I do and am immeasurably grateful to those who have guided me. I have been well advised by Chris Bail,  Evan Mayo-Wilson, and Jini Roby--as well as former colleagues at the NSF. Each of these individuals has uniquely contributed to my skills and writing style, in company with Steve Vaisey and Jim Moody, who I now work with at Duke.

This summer, I'm providing teaching assistance at the Summer Institute in Computational Social Science at Princeton... join us!

I am an avid and aspiring coder, as well as a data geek. I've moved over 24 times, but I've loved (almost) every place that I've been. I currently split my time living in NYC and North Carolina. I come from a modern family of 10 kids and seven divorces. I'm pigeon-toed, exhausted by crowds, fascinated by culture and health, and frustrated by the perpetuation of gender inequality worldwide. I love to be outdoors--running and gardening.  

Here is my setup:

R, Python, VIM, and Atom to clean, collect, and analyze

Google Cloud Platform to store and analyze even more

Zotero to cite

Headspace to chill

Pocket to read

Art is an important part of my life. Mostly experiencing it, but sometimes also creating. Below are a few of my photos. Connect with me on Instagram, @taywhitten :)


more instagram ...


United States

Bhutan and India