Peter McMahan


Assistant Professor

Department of Sociology

McGill University


My research centers on the ways that communication informs and reinforces hierarchy and authority in varied social settings. I specialize in statistical modeling and computational methodologies, with particular focus on network analysis and emerging methods for social inference on large, unstructured data sets.


Currently, I am working on several projects relating to communication in academic contexts. One line of research examines the role of individual journal publications in the structuring of scholarly fields. This work finds that particular modes of publication (e.g. review articles) have far-reaching effects on the form and focus of future research. A separate research agenda is concerned with the effects of ambiguous academic language on intellectual discourse, arguing that imprecision in communication can have a cohering effect on a community of scholars and lead to more engaged and fruitful scientific outcomes.



Sociological Perspectives (SOCI 210): Undergraduate introduction to sociological analysis.

Sociology of Science (SOCI 325): Introduction to science and technology studies (STS) from a sociological perspective.

Networks and Social Structures (SOCI 424): Seminar in methods and theories of network analysis and relational sociology.

Quantitative Methods 2 (SOCI 620): A graduate-level course in multilevel and generalized linear models models from a Bayesian perspective.

Office Hours

Winter semester, 2023: Thursdays, 4pm–5pm (Leacock 727)


Conference and workshop slides are available from my github repo.

Curriculum Vitae

View my CV online, or download a PDF here.


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