207 Townshend Hall
1885 Neil Avenue Mall
Areas of Expertise
- Comparative & Historical
- Social Movements
- Gender, Race, & Class
- Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1996
Social Stratification, Work, Education, and Culture. Current research includes historical and contemporary research regarding inequality, culture, and legitimation, using historical, qualitative and quantitative methods; contemporary workplace discrimination surrounding race, sex and age; and the dynamics of workplace bullying and abuse; and re-examining theories of power and their relevance in the contemporary world.
I was intrigued from my very first classes in the social and behavioral sciences as an undergraduate with ways in which inequality is reproduced and the interplay of structure and agency in that process. During my graduate training and as an assistant professor, I followed through on this interest by engaging in several projects pertaining to inequality in labor markets, politics and education. I also diversified methodologically, realizing that many aspects of the types of inequality I was interested in often lay under the surface of conventional research designs and analyses. Social inequality and explicating how it is enacted, reproduced, and legitimated by those in power remain core to my sociological passion, as reflected in recent and current multi-methodological projects on workplace discrimination and incivility, labor unrest and mobilization, the subordination of Native Americans historically, and educational inequalities and the ways they are recreated across generations and by institutional processes. Despite seemingly unique topics, the core sociological foci remain the same: In what ways do structure and action intersect to create such inequality? What role does culture and discourse play in the legitimating and making such inequalities seem acceptable; and, how do subordinated groups challenge, resist, or rectify the inequalities they face?