Mike Owen Benediktsson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hunter College, City University of New York. He is an urban and cultural sociologist whose current research examines the role of material objects and built space in the social life of contemporary New York City. The author of numerous articles in urban and cultural sociology, he is completing a book on the sociological implications of urban design and planning entitled In the Midst of Things: The Social Life of Urban Artifacts. Other recent research includes studies of the displacement of small businesses and the proliferation of chain stores in gentrifying neighborhoods, systems of etiquette and normative behavior on urban transit systems, and the sociological implications of mobile communications technology.