I am an Assistant Professor of Organizational Studies and Sociology at the University of Michigan.
I am generally interest in the politics of poverty and inequality, primarily in US cities. I have published articles on the political role of community-based 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. The case of crime victim compensation illuminates the blurry boundary between state and society and reveals the historical origins of governments’ reliance on fees and fines to pay for public services.
My first book, based on four years of ethnographic fieldwork in Boston, analyzes urban governance and the role of private nonprofits in community development 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.