Broadly, my research aims to use a multi-method approach to explore how geographic place and social position interact to impact inequality of experience and outcomes.


Working Title: Contested Space, Divided Resources: Mapping Symbolic Boundaries and Resource Access in Gentrifying Cities

How does neighborhood change impact access to resources? My current dissertation research uses a multi-method approach to examine how local organizational density and population composition affect individual access to resources and neighborhood space.  I focus on four adjacent neighborhoods in Brooklyn: Park Slope, Prospect Park, Crown Heights, and Brownsville. My study period is from 2004-2014. I argue each of these neighborhoods demonstrate varying degrees of neighborhood revitalization or gentrification during this period.

This project uses a multi-method approach. I employ interview data from 50 Brooklyn residents, in addition to geo-location data from businesses, demographic data from the American Community Survey, and individual daily mobility data gathered through the use of a GPS-enabled phone application.  

In the first section, I explore organizational availability within and across neighborhoods. I employ spatial analysis and map-based analysis to chart the location of important daily resources, such as grocery stores, fitness centers, and religious establishments over time and across space. I focus on the quantity and quality of resource clusters within and across neighborhoods.  

In the second section I use American Community Survey data to examine local population diversity and inequality over time and across space. I use a critical demography approach to examine local inequality.

Finally I  use a combination of interviews and individual daily-travel data to explore access to resources and ownership of space. I argue while resources may exist, there are symbolic, perceived, and economic barriers that may hinder access to local resources for certain populations. Using individual location data, I map movement through neighborhoods. I add a qualitative overlay to this movement through interviews with participants.   

This project has received support for the National Science Foundation, the UW-Madison Graduate School, and UW-Madison's Community and Environmental Sociology department.

Other research projects

A second line of research focuses on the ways race is quantified and measured in academic studies of gentrification. I conduct a systematic review and collocation analysis to examine how race is defined and portrayed over time.  

A third study, conducted with Casey Stockstill, focuses on how elite women understand and negotiate self-development alongside traditional adult markers of marriage and childbearing. We explore this question using 37 interviews with college-educated and professionally employed single women living in  New York City.

A fourth paper focuses on how race and gender are constructed in the private sphere. Using category, tag, and view data taken from online pornographic tube sites, I focus on how gender and race are labelled and consumed in a private sphere of desire. I find patterns of consumption mirror broader patterns of partnering and dating, reinforcing a racialized and gendered hierarchy of desire.