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Ke Nie

MA: University of California, San Diego, Sociology, 2021
MA: Peking University, Journalism, 2014
BA: Peking University, German Language and Literature, 2012
BA: Peking University, Economics, 2012

Research Interests: Economic Sociology, Political Sociology, Culture and Creativity, Organizational Identity & Market Categories, Computational Social Science

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I am a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of California, San Diego, with a Specialization in Computational Social Science. I am an organizational and economic sociologist who uses computational methods, among others, to study culture, creativity, and categories.

My research focuses on the social and organizational foundation of creativity and innovation. Using the creative industries as my empirical focus, I show how political and economic institutions influence creative production strategy, shape creative outputs, spawn or hinder product innovation, and reform producer identities or redefine market categories. For example, my award-winning article published in Poetics uses Music Information Retrieval (MIR), neural networks, and topic modeling algorithms to study how censorship reshaped music genres in China. In a similar vein, another article of mine, published in Chinese Sociological Review, reveals how artistic innovation is curbed by monetization programs. I am also a keen advocate of bringing insights from sociological and organizational studies into the development of technical tools: in a recent paper accepted into the International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference Proceedings, I address the importance of deeming music genres as mutable social constructs in training machine-learning driven genre classifiers.

Building upon these works, my dissertation project examines how creativity is organized, regulated, and practiced in the Chinese popular music industry in the wake of its extensive digitization. The project is funded by American Sociological Association Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (ASA DDRIG), among others, and it was awarded the Honorable Mention for the Geoffrey Tootell Mathematical Sociology Outstanding Dissertation-in-Progress Award at the American Sociological Association.



Nie, Ke. Forthcoming. “Inaccurate Prediction or Genre Evolution? Rethinking Genre Classification.” Proceedings of the 23rd International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference.

Nie, Ke. 2022. “Bowing to Five Pecks of Rice: How Online Monetization Programs Shape Artistic Novelty.” Chinese Sociological Review (online first).

Nie, Ke. 2021. “Disperse and Preserve the Perverse: Computing How Hip-Hop Censorship Changed Music Genres in China.” Poetics 88:101590.