Research & Public Sociology

I use mixed-methods social science research strategies and theories to understand how individuals negotiate for change by leveraging the political system and media channels. My current research projects examine the intersection between collective action, race/ethnicity, immigration, policy, media, and the legal system in a variety of ways.

Current Research Projects:

Public Sociology

  • I write for mass media outlets on topics related to: activism, immigration, media, food, and policy.
  • I am a co-leader of the Maine Scholars Strategy Network (SSN) – Working Group on Migration & Citizenship. SSN is an organization that provides the infrastructure for researchers to inform policy makers on issues of social, cultural, political, and environmental justice.
  • I am a Faculty Fellow with the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center working on publicly engaged research related to immigration policy and food.

 

Social Movements/Media/Political Sociology

  • cropped-img_1619.jpgSocial movement actors vie for coveted media attention to advance their causes; yet we know little about what accounts for variance in coverage of protest. Why do some movements receive the lion’s share of coverage while others struggle to get covered at all? Why are some movements covered favorably while others are not? Our research team has tackled these important questions by constructing an original dataset of ~1000 individually coded articles from national newspapers. We examine the causal factors that mediate quality of coverage for the most visible 1960s civil rights organizations.

 

Food, Politics, & Identity

  • Using magazines as an analytic access point into the American socio-cultural zeitgeist, my co-author and I are exploring how female politicians use food to negotiate and subvert the gendered norms expected of women in high profile political positions.

 

Social Movements & Tech/New media/Digital realities

  • The Independent Video Game scene purports to be more inclusive and representative of the diverse gamers and gaming programmers that it attracts. However, as evidenced by the controversy surrounding #gamergate, this inclusive culture has been questioned. My co-author and I are in the process of collecting interview and survey data as well as conducting ethnographic research to examine perceptions and evidence of inclusivity in The Industry.

 

Immigration/Race & Ethnicity

  • My coauthors and I are exploring the predictors of perceptions toward migrants, refugees, and asylees (‘new Mainers’) as well as how these newcomers to Maine assimilate into a historically insular and homogenous demographic state.
  • I explore how marginalized social movement actors have been covered in television news segments and how this aligns with their intended political aims. I explores the cases of the American Indian Movement and the United Farmworkers to examine the nuanced relationship between activists and the media.