The College of Liberal Arts at Temple University

David Elesh

Associate Professor

732 Gladfelter Hall

(215) 204-1441


office hours

M, 11:00-12:00 & 


W, 11:00-12:00

and by appointment


  • PhD, Columbia University
  • BA, Reed College

areas of expertise


  • Urban Sociology
  • Quantitative Methodology
  • Industrial Change

courses I teach

  • Research Design and Methods
  • Writing the Dissertation Proposal
  • Immigration and the American Experience
  • People and Places in Philadelphia

links i like

Download my vita.


As an urban sociologist, my research centers on how where people live affects their quality of life and economic and educational opportunities. For the past several years, I have been a co-principal investigator (with Professors Carolyn Adams and David Bartelt of the Department of Geography and Urban Studies) on the Metropolitan Philadelphia Indicators Project (MPIP), which focuses on portraying and analyzing measures of quality of life in the more than 350 municipalities of the Philadelphia metropolitan region.  Some of this work appears in my 2008 book, Regulating the Philadelphia Region: Metropolitan Divisions and Inequality, co-authored with Adams, Bartelt, and Ira Goldstein (Temple University Press).  Funded by the William Penn Foundation and Temple University, MPIP, working with Avencia, Inc., also has developed uniquely powerful and easy-to-use browser-based mapping software that allows users to create maps of and explore relationships among more than 330 measures of quality of life - many of them measured over time.


One part of my current research examines the effects of where one lives on the gender gap in postsecondary education; a brief report on the metropolitan area phase of this work is on the MPIP website.  Another aspect of my research (with Professor Janice Dias of CUNY) looks at how the the objectives of a for-profit and a nonprofit welfare-to-work agency affect client outcomes.  A continuing, longer term project explores how late 19th and earlier 20th century immigration influences the number of municipalities in contemporary metropolitan areas.


Another side to my research (with Professor Shanyang Zhao) has explored the consequences of the internet for inequality.  I have served as Chair of the American Sociological Association’s section on Communication and Information Technology. I also serve as Director of Temple’s Social Science Data Library, the university’s depository for computerized social science data and primary source of support for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of these data.


recent publications


Elesh, David (with Carolyn Adams, David Bartlet, and Ira Goldstein). 2008. Restructuring the Philadelphia Region: Metropolitan Divisions and Inequality. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.


Zhao, Shanyang and David Elesh. 2008. "Co-Presence as Being With: Analyzing Online
Connectivity." Information, Communication & Society 11 (4) 565-583.


Elesh, David. 2002. "Gender, Occupational, and Age Cohort Consequences of the Industrial Transformation, 1980-1990." Social Science Research 31: 310-333.


For more publications from Temple sociologists, see our newsletter!

department of sociology | 713 gladfelter hall | 1115 west polett walk
philadelphia, pa 19122 | (215) 204-7760 | fax: (215) 204-3352 |