Welcome!

I teach sociology in the Anthropology & Sociology Department at Lafayette College. 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.

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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 research examines the intersection of social movements, business, and democracy in American politics. My book Do-it-Yourself Democracy is an ethnography of the public engagement industry in the United States. DICoverMy edited volume with collaborators Edward Walker and Mike McQuarrie, entitled Democratizing Inequalities, explores 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. Other projects are listed under the Research menu.

Please explore the site to find out more about my teaching and research 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.