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. More recent research analyzes the effect of social and economic change on local governments’ use of fines and forfeits. My next major project is a multi-method study of state Crime Victim Compensation Funds—government assistance for medical bills and related costs incurred by “innocent” victims of violent crimes. My research will explain why some states created Funds before others; why some states have lower compensation caps and enforce stricter eligibility criteria; and why some institutional structures make it harder for predominantly urban victims to claim much needed assistance.
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.