About

Oaxaca, Mexico: June 2017.
Oaxaca, Mexico: June 2017.

I am a doctoral student of sociology, Graduate Research Assistant, and Presidential Scholar at George Mason University who studies political economy, technology, and right-wing radicalism. I hold an M.S. in sociology and a B.A. in political science, both from Virginia Commonwealth University.

My dissertation studies how different radical right-wing tendencies utilize the internet, technology, and digital media to disseminate their political messages, with a focus on the contradictory roles that “myth” and “rationality” play in constructing inegalitarian political imaginaries. These tendencies present substantial ethical, social, and political challenges to those committed to egalitarian social futures.

My past research has focused on how entrepreneurship functions as a legitimizing mechanism that has significant consequences for workers, the labor market, and economic inequality. In a coauthored article appearing in Sociology Compass, “Varieties of Entrepreneurial Capitalism: The Culture of Entrepreneurship and Structural Inequalities of Work and Business Creation,” I argue along with Victor Tan Chen and Jesse Goldstein that a culture of entrepreneurship has emerged in the shadow of Silicon Valley, one that celebrates innovation, risk, and personal autonomy. As we show, this romantic conceptualization of entrepreneurship provides a justificatory frame for precarious work arrangements, helping to legitimize flexible and unstable labor regimes, and compels workers to adopt an entrepreneurial subjectivity in order to successfully navigate an increasingly stratified labor market.

Along with John G. Dale, Associate Professor of Sociology at George Mason Univeristy, I coauthored and presented “Communitarian Entrepreneurship? Indigenous Governance, Impact Hubs, and Legal Challenges for Social Enterprise Development in Oaxaca, Mexico” for the International Meeting on Law and Society in Mexico City, Mexico, June 20 – 23, 2017. Using the transnational Impact Hub network as a case study, specifically its Oaxaca, Mexico incarnation, our paper explores how “social enterprises” (i.e., for-profit businesses that aim to solve social problems through market mechanisms) come into conflict with the deeply communitarian and participatory democratic practices of many of Oaxaca’s indigenous communities. We show that the prevailing entrepreneurial orientation toward growth and scaling is inconsistent with many of the value commitments that remain of significant import to the people of Oaxaca, resulting in failed ventures and, in turn, a widespread abandonment of specifically “social” business models.

Additional research projects include an encyclopedia entry on the work-life balance that I coauthored with Jesse Goldstein, and which appears in The American Middle Class: An Economic Encyclopedia of Progress and Poverty (ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, edited by Robert S. Rycroft). We draw attention to many issues facing workers in the United States, including: substantial increases in actual working hours in recent years; the flexible and “on-call” nature of many people’s jobs, which corresponds to unpredictable (and often last minute) work schedules; specific challenges for dual earner families; a culture of stigma that exists in many companies around taking time off work, thus coercing workers to not use their company provided paid-time off; and an unsupportive policy ecosystem that does not provide workers with sufficient social benefits. We argue that policy solutions do exist, and could take the form of providing workers with legally protected paid-time off, shortening the workweek, and demanding that employers be more prompt and consistent when scheduling their workers so as to enable them to plan their extra-work life activities.

In addition to my academic pursuits, I currently serve as the President of the Public Sociology Association (PSA) and the Treasurer of the Graduate Student Sociological Association (GSSA) at George Mason University.

You can download a copy of my CV by clicking here.