I am an Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies and Sociology at the University of Michigan.
In general, my work focuses on questions of politics, organizations, and inequality in US cities. I have published articles on the political role of nonprofits in poor neighborhoods, cultural processes and inequality in participatory democracy, and the relationship between neighborhood racial composition and an important, but under-studied political behavior: contacting government for basic city services. My next major project explores why state and federal lawmakers introduced a new public benefit in the 1960s and 1970s—financial compensation for victims of violent crime—funded by what was at the time an innovative budgetary tool—statutory increases to criminal fees and fines. Crime victim compensation is a critical case to examine fundamental questions about the politics of public budgets, the use of criminal fines to fund public services, and the blurry boundary separating state and society.
My first book, based on four years of ethnographic fieldwork in Boston, describes the changing structure of urban governance and the increasingly fuzzy boundary separating private nonprofits from public policy. It is under contract with Princeton University Press.
Before joining the faculty at Michigan, I earned an A.M. and Ph.D. in Sociology at Harvard University and was a doctoral fellow in the Inequality and Social Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.
You can see a recent copy of my CV here.