My research agenda broadly considers the relationship between inequality, culture, and organizations. In my current project, a study of inequality and evaluation in American fine dining, I ask two interrelated research questions: How does the organization of the American fine dining field reflect ethnoracial and gender hierarchies? How do the systems of organization and evaluation reinforce these gender and ethnoracial inequalities? To answer these questions, I draw on two original data sets—120 in-depth interviews with critically celebrated chefs in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area and 1380 restaurant reviews from the 2016 Michelin Guide in the same two cities. I analyze chefs’ creative processes, daily management of staff, and interpretation of critics’ assessments of their products, exposing the underlying system of racial and gender bias driving evaluation and cultural production in the field. Articles from this project are currently under review at Social Problems and Gender and Society, and I am also preparing my book manuscript.
An additional substantial research project takes up the current issue of Title IX, sexual harassment, and higher education. In a content analysis of 250 college and university sexual harassment policies, I demonstrate how and why different kinds of colleges and universities address and incorporate compliance with Title IX in their formal student sexual harassment policies. I find that, contrary to the predictions of the symbolic compliance literature, small liberal arts colleges are more likely to demonstrate compliance in their formal sexual harassment policies. This article is under review at Sociological Forum.
I have also published research on the intellectual development of the theoretical concept of institutional logics (published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Business and Management) and the gender dynamics of the western literary canon (published in Gender Issues).