I teach sociology in the Anthropology & Sociology Department at Lafayette College, with an affiliate appointment in the American Studies Program. I graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Sociology, and got my MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego.
I am a comparative institutional sociologist with research and teaching interests in the following areas: political sociology, social movements, economic sociology, law, sociology of knowledge and culture, urban and environmental sociology, and research methods. My work is located in the multidisciplinary field of American political development.
My current projects explore the intersection of social movements, business, and democracy in American politics. One of those is a book called Do-it-Yourself Democracy, based on my ethnography of the public engagement industry. The other is an edited volume with my collaborators Ed Walker and Mike McQuarrie, entitled Democratizing Inequalities, about the challenges of what we call “the new public participation”– the dramatic expansion of democratic practices in organizations of all types– in an era of stark economic inequalities.
Please explore the site to find out more about my teaching, research, and service activities. Because I have studied the ways in which the physical and living environment shapes and is shaped by social processes, I am especially interested in how people choose to represent those dynamics; the images in the headers are photos I have taken of urban and rural landscapes.