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Harvey Molotch

Harvey Molotch is Professor of Sociology and Metropolitan Studies at New York University where he conducts research on issues of city growth and urban security as well as on product design and development. He has also researched issues in news media, the sociology of art, neighborhood racial integration, and the sociology of the environment.

His books include Urban Fortunes (with John Logan) and Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers, and Many Other Things Come to Be As They Are. A new book, edited by Molotch and NYU PhD student Laura Noren, is Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (NYU Press, 2010). Students enrolled in several of his courses are cited in the book for their strong contribution of ideas and findings.

His awards include Distinguished Contribution to the Discipline of Sociology, Award for Lifetime Achievement in Urban and Community Studies, Award for Career Achievement in the Sociology of Environment and Technology (Buttel Award) and Outstanding Scholarly Publication in Urban and Community Studies (Robert Park Award).

Before coming to NYU, he was Visiting Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, Chair of Sociology and Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara as well as visiting professor at Northwestern University, University of Essex, Lund University, and SUNY Stony Brook.

Selected Publications by Harvey Molotch


Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing

So much happens in the public toilet that we never talk about. Finding the right door, waiting in line, and using the facilities are often undertaken with trepidation. Don't touch anything. Try not to smell. Avoid eye contact. Read more about this book »

Where Stuff Comes From

The complicated, dynamic relationships between inventor, society, corporation, regulator, shopkeeper, community, family and customer is terrifically laid out by UC Santa Barbara and New York University.... Read more about this book»

Building Rules: How Local Controls Shape Community

Urban and suburban growth is a burning local issue for communities across the United States and many other parts of the world. Concerns include protecting habitats, high costs of infrastructure, social inequalities..... Read more about this book»

A photograph of Harvey Molotch
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