I am an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Pepperdine University, where I started after receiving my Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. My research focuses on the different ways that communities collectively organize and how their organizations shape, and are shaped by, structural inequality.
Specifically, I analyze the effects of two forms of organization: neighborhood development organizations and community organizing coalitions. To date, many social scientists have argued that civic organizations have homogeneous effects, presenting them either as foundations of well-functioning democracy or as exclusionary forces that divide society. But I argue that it is not an either/or situation. Instead, I show that the effect that civic organizations have differs, depending on their organizational form. I also show these effects vary by level of analysis. My results indicate that place-based organizations can lower poverty in their neighborhood, but do not influence city-level structural inequalities in the way that identity-based organizations do, largely because of identity-based organizations’ ability to build cross-cutting coalitions.
Areas of Research and Teaching Interest
Social change, urban sociology, civil society, inequality, social movements, organizations, immigration, and research methods