Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
310A Hyer Hall
Research & Teaching Interests
Social Movements, Social Inequality, Qualitative Methods, Theory, Historical & Comparative Sociology, Organizations, Globalization
I have long been fascinated by the processes through which social movement participants understand historical injustices and articulate both those injustices and solutions to them. My research has therefore focused on how social movement participants socially construct their own history, incorporate it into their movements and present their messages to themselves and outsiders. My work has included the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, the women’s movement, and AIDS activism. Current projects include a study of college student activism across one hundred years at one university. My research and teaching interests also incorporate a focus on social inequality and the power of organizations.
In the Classroom
I regularly teach Global Society, Organizations and Their Environment, Contemporary Sociological Theory and basic, as well as advanced, research methods. Periodically, I teach Social Movements & Collective Behavior and also Minority-Dominant Relations; both courses also carry credit in the Human Rights major and minor. In each and every one of my courses, a variety of theoretical approaches are examined to explain the social phenomena, and there is an exploration of social inequality.
I am very excited that I have been able to design and implement two courses. My students and I piloted a spring semester section of Global Society that includes the regular semester-long classroom experience and includes a Spring Break trip to Nicaragua. Students met with various Nicaraguan government and business officials as well as members of a farming cooperative, the women’s movement and an opposition political party to learn about globalization there.
Most recently, I have designed and taught a course, Advanced Research Methods, which incorporates a real research project into course curriculum. Students delve more deeply into sociological methods while working as a group to collect data in a large, historically low-income, community that is gentrifying within Dallas. The goal is to understand social change and other topics of sociological interest in that community. Thus far, students have used GIS mapping, face-to-face interviewing, photography and historical methods. Soon, they will use participant observation as well. The project is ongoing and cumulative across semesters.