As a sociologist, my research centers on the intersections of law, culture and 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. I have taught courses in the areas of transnational sociology, human trafficking, criminology, and juvenile delinquency.
Prior to my academic career, I worked ten years for international advocacy and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) in the 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 at University of California Irvine.
Field/Areas of Research:
- Sociology of law, globalization, culture, migration, social movements.
- Legal Studies