Areas of Interest
Urban Sociology, Sociology of Organizations, Social Psychology
Studies on the geographic concentration of violent crime typically focus on the individual as the unit of analysis, often ignoring the role of institutions and organizations in the social construction of violent hotspots. Through a three-year neighborhood case study, my research highlights the role of middlemen and neighborhood organization leadership in the social construction of violent crime hotspots. Based on fieldwork with violence prevention organizations, observations of public spaces, and a household survey of neighborhood residents, I have found that factors such as the incarceration of gang leaders, funding priorities of philanthropic organizations, employee turnover at non-profits, and city politics disrupt the local social order. Even further, these factors consistently undermine the neighborhood’s ability to build social capital and collective efficacy. These findings may contribute to understanding inconsistent results with regards to the social effects of mass incarceration, as well as theories of social mechanisms.
2010 – National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant
2010 – Northwestern University Graduate Research Grant
2009 - Robert F. Winch Award For Outstanding Second Year Paper
2009 – Spencer Foundation Research Grant (co-PI with Lincoln Quillian)
2008-2011 Fellow of the Multi-Disciplinary Program in Educational Sciences
2008 – MacArthur Summer Research Grant (co-PI with Lincoln Quillian)
2005 – Ronald E. McNair Scholar
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