I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at James Madison University. I specialize in qualitative methods, and my research examines issues pertaining to international migration, labor, community, and leisure. My first book, published with the University of Chicago Press, examines the vital role of play and public parks in developing social connections in the city. Fútbol in the Park: Immigrants, Soccer, and the Creation of Social Ties is an ethnographic study of working-class Latino immigrant men who regularly gather in a Los Angeles public park to socialize and play soccer. It investigates the social world of the park and, through it, the experience of immigration of the men who played there.
In Virginia, I am completing a new ethnographic project on H-2A agricultural guest workers. This research reflects a growing concern with the need to better understand where our food comes from and who produces it and sheds important light on the social and political implications of temporary agricultural labor on both sides of the US-Mexico border.
I also write on qualitative methods, with a focus on situating ethnographic analysis within the context of people's multifaceted and unfolding lives. As a college professor, I especially enjoy teaching courses that introduce students to sociological perspectives they can use in their everyday lives, as well as courses that get the "seat of their pants dirty" with actual empirical work. To that end, I am excited to be part of JMU's Immigrant Harrisonburg project.
Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions or if you'd like to connect!