Grad Students

Pat Reilly

Contact Information

Office  Haines 285

My dissertation is an ethnographic study of the stand-up comedy industry in Los Angeles, which I use to pursue two lines of inquiry. The first is the relationship between communities of practice and markets. The second is how social actors develop and enact strategies of organizing and structuring these in loosely structured social worlds. I address three major points in this research. First, I investigate patterns and paths of career development and collaboration in this informal and decentralized organizational field. Second, I address exit rates and persistence within these labor markets—particularly the existence of high survival rates despite diminishing prospects for stardom. Lastly, I explore conditionality and community dynamics in norm enforcement--in this case supposed violations of informal property rights in the form of "joke theft". Portions of this research has appeared in Academy of Management Discoveries and Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings  and have been honored by both the ASA's Organizations, Occupations, and Work section and the AOM's Organizations and Management Theory Division.

In addition, I am currently undertaking a series of studies about career outcomes and trajectories within project-based work through analyzing data from the Internet Movie Database (with Kelly Patterson of USC's Marshall Business School). I am also using this dataset to investigate cateogrical identities.

Beyond my research, I have cultivated a strong body of undergraduate instruction. In addition to teaching the department's organizational studies course for four terms, I also devised, designed, and taught two separate seminar courses that use the entertainment industry as an avenue for students to learn core theories in the careers, labor markets, and innovations literatures. The university recognized me as a top graduate student instructor through awarding me the UCLA Distiguished Teaching Award in 2015, which is its highest honor for teaching.

I am currently a lecturer for UCLA Department of Sociology and a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Science, Technology, and Cultural Policy at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Fields of Study

economic sociology, organizational studies, cultural production industries, careers, ethnographic methods


Reilly, Patrick. Forthcoming. "The Layers of a Clown: Career Development in Cultural Production Industries." Academy of Management Discoveries

Reilly, Patrick. 2016. “How Embedded Ties Split Sides: Network and Tie Formation in Contingent Work.” Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings 

Grants and Awards

2016. James D. Thompson Award for the Best Student Paper, American Sociological Association Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section, honorable mention

2016. Academy of Management Louis S. Pondy Dissertation Paper of the Year Award, runner-up

2015-2016. UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship

2015. UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award (recognizes the top five graduate student instructors university-wide)

2014-2015. UCLA Excellence in Teaching Fellowship

2013. UCLA Department of Sociology's Peter Kollock Memorial Award

2009-2014. UCLA Sociology Departmental Fellowship


Gabriel Rossman, Lynne Zucker, David Halle, David Lewin (Department of Management: UCLA Anderson)


PhD in Sociology, UCLA, 2016

MA in Sociology, UCLA, 2011

MA in Humanities and Social Thought, New York University, 2009

BA in American Studies, summa cum laude, Emory University, 2006