My research is guided by two overarching questions:

  • What are the capacities and constraints of families to provide for themselves and one another?  In an era of insufficient/unstable earnings and public support systems, how well can our private networks help us make ends meet? 
  • How does the private safety net operate as both a manifestation and a mechanism of racial and class stratification, based on the resources that individuals have access to within their family and friend networks?

Broadly, my work focuses on the intersection of family, race, and stratification.  I explore the extent to which resource transfers within families--such as the sharing of housing, money, or childcare support--contribute to economic and material outcomes among individuals.  I frame access to these tangible resources as a form of social capital, which individuals can leverage in order to buffer exposure to different types of material hardship.  However, as the resources available within private networks is not equal across the population, I am interested in how race and class variation in types of resources received represent an axis through which advantage/disadvantage is transferred between family members. I specifically interrogate these processes within the residential realm, with a focus on who individuals are living with and the stratification that emerges within housing and neighborhood outcomes.

My dissertation focuses on how familial resource transfers are related to residential outcomes across time.  I focus on this temporal component as a means to understand if kin support can not just be a means to address short-term needs, but can help individuals achieve social mobility over time. I expand existing research on kin support and families to explore how resource receiving support from relatives influences housing and neighborhood attainment.  I incorporate longitudinal techniques to understand how this influence emerges and persists over time.

Please see my CV for more information on my papers under review and my projects in progress.