Originally from California, I worked in tech prior to graduate school, most recently at Google. Embedded in a team of engineers, I became deeply engaged in the design, development, release of a business-to-business online software product. My role was one of translation between teams, functions, users, and organizations, and the longitudinal 360-degree perspective this offered led me to start asking questions about the connection between micro-level interactions, meso-level organizational and group structures, and macro-level phenomena (of course I didn't call them that then).

First, I was curious about team work and the production of knowledge: How could a team be so much more than the sum of its parts? How were the skills and tacit knowledge of distinct individuals translated and incorporated into group work? ​These questions continue to thread through my work, particularly as they take form in varied configurations of automation, outsourcing, crowdsourcing, and distributed and remote work.

 

Second, I was curious about technology within the context of larger social structures: How could such a complex technology emerge from what appeared to be a vast array of local responses to local problems? To what extent might these technologies, and the organizations building them, reproduce, codify, or perhaps even challenge assumptions about social difference and the inequalities that those assumptions are used to justify? 

 

Once I entered graduate school in sociology at Columbia University, I found a home for these two sets of questions in the sociology of science, knowledge, and technology. Now, several years later, I find myself bringing them together as I examine group decision-making in action in the development, support, interpretation, and use of data analytic technologies.

 

I work and live in Ithaca with a tiny feline dictator and his loyal canine subject.

Where to find me

Cornell University

Department of Science & Technology Studies

303 Morrill Hall

Ithaca, NY 14853

s.e.sachs@cornell.edu

Curriculum Vitae

© 2019 by S.E. Sachs

Sarah E. Sachs   |   Cornell University, Department of Science & Technology Studies   |   s.e.sachs@cornell.edu