As a sociologist, my research centers on the intersections of law, society and culture, with an emphasis on migration. I’m interested in how social problems come to be socially constructed, how these constructions find their way into social & legal institutions, and their consequences in practice, particularly for disadvantaged populations. My dissertation, which I am currently working on turning into a book, examines the rise of international counter-human trafficking policy at the United Nations, and the impact counter-trafficking policies have had on the ground, specifically in Cambodia and the U.S.
My other research includes a qualitative study of detained asylum seekers in U.S. detention centers, a collaborative study about the use of storytelling by international social movement participants (article forthcoming in Mobilization), and a collaborative project on “the law in computation;” that is, how legal terrain is being shaped and created through new and emerging technologies (article forthcoming in Law & Policy). I teach courses on globalization, transnational sociology, inequality, sexual violence, human trafficking, criminology, and juvenile delinquency.
Prior to my academic career, I worked ten years for international advocacy and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) in Brazil, Cambodia and the United States. This work focused on human trafficking, migration, labor exploitation, and child protection. I have a B.A. in Social Science from Washington State University, an M.S. in Anthropology from the University of North Texas, and an M.A./Ph.D. in Sociology from University of California Irvine.
Field/Areas of Research:
- Sociology of law, globalization, culture, migration, social movements.
- Legal Studies