I am an assistant professor of sociology at Fordham University in New York City. My main areas of research are the sociology of race and ethnicity, the sociology of crime and violence, cultural sociology, social network analysis, organizational sociology, and economic sociology.
In my book, Doing Violence, Making Race: Lynching and White Racial Group Formation in the U.S. South, 1882-1930, I develop a theoretical framework on the link between intergroup violence and such group-formation processes as the activation and maintenance of group categories, boundaries, and identities on the collective as well as individual level. Drawing upon detailed data of nearly 600 lynching events in the southern states of Georgia and Louisiana from 1882 to 1930, which differentiate lynchings according to popular participation and support, publicity, and ceremony, I demonstrate that “public” lynchings, representing collective violence involving larger mobs of perpetrators and spectators as well as ritualized violence, and “private” lynchings, representing interpersonal violence perpetrated by small groups outside the public purview without manifest ritual, were driven by social forces and cultural meanings at different levels of analysis. Public, but not private, lynchings were expressive as well as generative of the collective racial white identity and solidarity channeled through the southern Democratic Party at the turn of the 20th century. Private, but not public, lynchings originated in whites’ interracial status and social identity concerns on the interpersonal level. My study thus show how different forms of racial violence fed off and into the racial boundaries, categories, and identities upon which the emerging Jim Crow system of racial domination and oppression rested.
You can find links to articles from this project published in the American Journal of Sociology and Ethnic and Racial Studies, as well as to my other publications, under the "Publications" tab.