Top Earners in the U.S.
My current research is a qualitative study of the hedge fund industry, a key driver of economic instability, precarious work, and income inequality. Like other high-paying work, women and minority men are underrepresented, managing only three percent of assets in this lucrative industry. For my research, I conducted 45 in-depth interviews and engaged in participant observation over 4 years. I investigate the cultural norms and practices that prevent women and minority men from advancing in high-paying sectors of the workforce.
The Financial Sector
Dr. Ken-Hou Lin and I are writing a book about how growth in the financial sector is a fundamental cause of heightened inequality in the U.S. Using both quantitative and qualitative evidence, we evaluate how the ascendance of finance in three parts of American society—Wall Street, Main Street, and families—widens the distribution of economic resources according to gender, race, and class.
Gender in the New Economy
Dr. Christine Williams and I investigate how precarious working conditions exacerbate gender inequality in the new economy. Over the past thirty years, structural changes to the economy—like globalization, deregulation, and the decline of unions—have made employment more precarious, unstable, and insecure for workers. We consider the impacts on men and women, with attention to the implications for gender inequality. In a forthcoming paper, we explore future directions for feminist activism.
Gender in Politics
Another strand of my research examines how gender impacts the careers of women political leaders. My master’s thesis, “Nine Women World Leaders: Sexism on the Path to Power,” explores women presidents and prime ministers’ paths to executive office. I am currently preparing a manuscript that compares Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign with those of previous women presidents and prime ministers.
My work has been featured in the American Sociological Association's Work in Progress: Sociology on the Economy, Work, and Inequality blog, the Clayman Institute for Gender Research's Gender News, the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice's Human Rights Working Paper Series blog , and the UT Austin Soc graduate student blog.