Amidst growing diversity in the United States and awareness of intersectional identities, assessing the political preferences of groups has become an increasingly complex task. In my current book project, I argue that a key to understanding politics lies in distinguishing identity from group membership. I develop measurement strategies to demonstrate that political attitudes respond to self-categorization and provide support using survey experiments and in-depth interviews.  The book project grows from my doctoral thesis, and contains three main parts.  In Part I I introduce the type-predictor framework, a theory useful for understanding the subjective nature by which individuals self-identify and experience a sense of shared political interest with in-group members, or not.  In Part II I present support for the type-predictor framework using data from the analysis of 40 in-depth, semi-structured interviews.  In Part III I develop and test a new strategy for the survey measurement of identity across multiple dimensions. Using original survey data I examine how people who differ in their expressions of identity may also differ in their policy-related preferences, with particular attention paid to the politics of immigration and welfare.  Taken together, my work demonstrates that by further interrogating how attitudes and behavior respond to self-categorization, we may develop a more refined picture of identity and the politics of intersectionality.

Full dissertation abstract

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My work on representation and inequality focuses on minority constituents in the United States and the ways groups and individuals assert their political voices through voting, protest, and other forms of civic engagement. I have written on the effectiveness of minority legislators in representing constituent interests, the political implications of protest, and the conditions under which states have adopted direct democracy as a means to either help or hinder the advancement of policies to benefit minorities.


I have worked extensively on the topic of hate crimes and strategies for prejudice reduction, focusing especially on the ways crime and bias-related issues affect communities of color. I have coauthored a paper with Donald P. Green in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice and have provided my expertise as an industry consultant and as an advisory board member to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.