My research focuses on how social stratification and economic inequality affect the development of beliefs, attitudes, and values through the lens of cross-national comparison. I use both quantitative and qualitative methods and have a working knowledge of Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, French, and Spanish.
My dissertation addresses the question of why societies vary so greatly in their equality and redistribution preferences. While existing scholarship on attitudes about income equality and social welfare programs ("stratification beliefs") has focused almost exclusively on the Western world, I study variation between and within 91 countries, most of which are non-Western. I then examine four major cases (countries) with different socioeconomic systems - Brazil, China, France, and the United States - at multiple time-points spanning two decades (1990-2008).
Another research project that I designed and carried out while at Princeton was a qualitative study of attitudes about religion among adolescent mothers in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the attitudes of religious leaders in these communities toward these young women. Over two years, I completed 54 interviews with mothers, as well as NGO staff members and religious leaders who worked in their communities. In addition, I conducted participant observation at three programs for young mothers and at ten places of worship. An article I published drawing on this fieldwork was the lead article in a recent issue of Sociology of Religion and received the 2011 Graduate Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association's (ASA) Children and Youth Section, as well as Honorable Mention from the ASA Community and Urban Studies Section.
Before coming to Princeton, I was the project manager for over 30 primary research projects - including nationally-representative surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews - on media use and public opinion throughout Southeast Asia. This professional experience has provided my with on-the-ground experience designing, implementing, and supervising large- and small-scale research projects in challenging environments.
Selected Published Papers & Abstracts
|"A Gift from God": Adolescent Motherhood and Religion in Brazilian Favelas||Brazil, Religion, Children and Youth, Inequality, Religious markets, Values, Morality||Abstract|
|The Pursuit of Happiness in China: Individualism, Collectivism, and Subjective Well-Being during China's Economic and Social Transformation||China, Subjective Well-Being, Inequality, Individualism, Collectivism, Happiness, Life Satisfaction||Abstract|
|Pigmentocracy in the Americas: How is Educational Attainment Related to Skin Color?||Latin America, Inequality, Race, Ethnicity, Education||Abstract|
|Terrorism in Xinjiang?||China, Muslims, Minorities, Terrorism, Civil Wars & Ethnic Conflict, Conflict Resolution, Ethnicity, Nationalism|