Bio

I am interested in social inequalities, especially those of class, gender, and race, and in how and why people both accept and challenge unequal social relations. I use qualitative methods to investigate identities and interactions in the context of extreme inequality in the U.S., especially in relations of production and consumption in the service economy. My first book, Class Acts (University of California Press, 2007), drew on a year of ethnography in two urban luxury hotels to analyze how workers and guests and negotiated the obvious class disparities between them. I am currently working on a second book, entitled Uneasy Street (Princeton University Press, forthcoming), which uses in-depth interviews to look at how wealthy and affluent New York parents think and feel about their lifestyles and their privilege.This work is also linked to research I have conducted on the “outsourcing” of services from the home through the use of personal concierges. Finally, I am interested in labor movements as another form of contention over entitlements.

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