PhD Students in Sociology
Thomas's general research interests include science, technology, culture, health and the environment. His previous work focused on psychiatric attitudes towards the promise of neuroimaging in clinical practice. He is working on a project that examines how biotechnology is (or is not) being integrated into forest conservation and restoration efforts.
Before entering academia, Lauren worked as a social science and art educator in public and private schools. Lauren currently researches and writes about racial capitalism, property, and racial inequality with a strong historical focus. She also has a strong interest in activism and pedagogy, and always looks for new ways to build students' sociological analysis through music, art and political theory and practice.
BA (Psychology and Sociology), St. Xaviers College, Mumbai, India
MBA (Communications), MICA, Ahmedabad, India
MA (Social Sciences), University of Chicago
Before pursuing a career in academia, Sanchita worked in Indian advertising as a strategic planner for five years. Primarily a qualitative methodologist, her research interests revolve around gender, race, social movements and caste dynamics in South Asia. In particular, she is interested in the field of critical caste studies and draws theoretical inspiration from whiteness studies.
Korey's interests include sustainability, development, consumption, culture, qualitative coding and mixed methods. His previous work looked at sustainable development efforts in Sikkim, India, to further explore how actors in the region navigate the complex intersection of economic growth and the environment.
Zachary's thesis work was on media framing of Antifa. In a content analysis of top U.S. newspapers, Zachary found that reports of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the Unite the Right rally in 2017 played a major role in the framing of counter-protesters as members of Antifa absent any self-identification as such. In other words, publications were effectively creating their own Antifa. Zachary's research interests include media framing, societal unrest, social movements, social theory and mechanisms of social change.
Stephanie is interested broadly in inequality, poverty, and mobility, and specifically in labor market decisions and geographic mobility. Before coming to Brandeis, she worked at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, where she served as a senior editor of Pathways Magazine and helped direct the American Voices Project.
Before attending Brandeis, Rachel worked in northern Thailand with an NGO advocating for the release of political prisoners in Burma. Her research interests include cultural sociology, race/ethnicity, gender relations, and sexuality, particularly in Southeast and East Asia.
MA (Sociology), Brandeis University
MA (Individualized Study), New York University
BA (Liberal Arts), New School University
Sarah's research interests include social movements, media, and culture. Prior to arriving at Brandeis, she worked closely with the Center for Artistic Activism as a research fellow and has completed research projects for the British Council and the Urban Democracy Lab. Her current research focuses on anti-5G resistance groups, with special attention to the relationships between narratives, group identity, and personal influence.
Jing's general research interests include sociology of art and culture, sociology of education, inequality, globalization, and nationalism, particularly cultural nationalism and postcolonial nationalism.
Danielle is an incoming sociology PhD student with broad interests including community and environmental sociology, political economy, globalization, inequality, mobility, culture, consumption, and food systems. As an undergrad, she researched the impact of U.S. trade policy on organic agriculture and subsistence farming in Cuba. For her master’s thesis, she spent 10 months conducting ethnographic research in rural Bulgaria, studying heritage narratives, rural agency, and the social construction of place as a Fulbright student researcher. She has also worked on farms, for food justice organizations, and as a cheesemonger.
Ersie is a graduate student at Brandeis University, where she is pursuing a PhD in sociology. She grew up in a working-class, immigrant family, which inspires and guides her research on labor. Her research interests also focus on gender, race, class, and care work. Ersie earned her MA at UMass Boston, where she explored how workers in the hospitality industry negotiate interactions in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sam's dissertation research explores work and activism to prevent intimate partner violence in Boston, Massachusetts, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She uses qualitative and archival methods in the dissertation and her other research projects, and she is particularly invested in collaborative endeavors. In her dissertation, she explores the temporality of IPV to understand the challenges and opportunities it creates for individual and collective actors in these fields of action as they define the problem, their action, and their narratives of the future.
Sam has long been interested in the meanings that we make of experiences of violence and how we respond to intimate and collective violences. Recently, as a research associate with the Cascading Lives: Stories of Loss, Resistance, and Resilience project, directed by Dr. Karen Hansen and Dr. Nazli Kibria, she's developed this interest by focusing on the exponential and enduring impact of turning point moments on individuals’ lives as they create meaning from their experiences of joy, grief, and social inequalities. Before coming to Brandeis, Sam served with the Peace Corps in Grenada, where she worked in youth and community development.
Lijun's research interests include religion, transnational migration, China and Chinese diaspora, gender and family. Her previous work focused on Christianity among Chinese immigrants in Italy. Before coming to Brandeis, Lijun was a visiting researcher at Boston University for one semester, and worked as a Chinese language teacher at the University of Bologna for four years
Ann's interests include environmental sociology, social movements, community and urban sociology, community based research, and qualitative methods. Before attending Brandeis, Ann spent four years as an AmeriCorps member through the Bonner Service Leaders Program. Her current research focuses on the environmental movement with particular attention to the relationships between collective action, narrative, emotion, and climate change.
PhD Students in Sociology and Heller School for Social Policy
Sneha is from all over the map, with the United States being her second country of residence and Boston being her fifth home in a decade. For her doctoral work, she is interested in looking at how/what social, symbolic and physical boundaries intersect in the concept of citizenship.
Jonathan Jacob is a doctoral student pursuing a joint degree in Sociology and Social Policy at the Heller School. His research interests include issues of labor, social inequality and culture. Jacob’s current research examines the inverse relationship between the usefulness of certain jobs and their pay in capitalist societies, and focuses on developing a metric to assess the social value of work. Before joining the Heller School, Jacob worked as a high school educator in Los Angeles County. He holds a MA in social sciences from the University of Chicago and a BA in business from Brandeis University.
BA, African/African American studies and educational studies (Carleton College)
EdM, education policy (Harvard University)
Jenny's research seeks to apply critical geography to analyses of social problems and social policy, and considers how the spatial distribution of social and economic resources shapes opportunities for historically underserved groups. Additionally, she is interested in how market fundamentalist policy interacts with economic and racial residential segregation to shape outcomes for children and families. Her current and recent research examines how: private school vouchers impact educational opportunity for low income students and students of color; residential segregation influences children's exposure to disease and chronic health conditions; the parents of Black and Latinx students view inter-district school desegregation programs; and the impact of neighborhood contexts and resources on outcomes for public school students with disabilities.
Manning's interests include culture, creative arts, media, technology, health, migration and urbanization. Her previous work looked at the opinions on land conversion among different generations of farmers during the urbanization of a village in East China. She is currently working on a collaborative project that examines the social process behind individual eating disorders.
MA Students in Sociology and WGS
Rachel graduated from Cornell University in 2015 with a BA in Spanish and minors in international relations and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies. She currently works as a Brandeis staff member at the International Students and Scholars Office. Her research interests include marginalized immigrant communities (especially LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers), cultural integration, and the intersection of race, gender and culture.
Emma graduated from Montana State University in 2020 with a BS in sociology. During her undergraduate career, her academic interests included human trafficking in the rural West, queer theory, and reproductive healthcare for marginalized populations. As a joint MA student in aociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emma is passionate about continuing her interests in sociological and queer theory, as well as pursuing research on the intersection of medicine, institutional inequality and vulnerable populations.