Cascading: Downward Mobility through the Prism of Intersectionality

Group of people sitting and talking

Cascading Group members in discussion with Arlie Hochschild, Spring 2019

The Cascading Research Group explores the process of falling from a particular status in ways that trigger additional declines.

Building on the success of our interdisciplinary Cascading workshop last year, the Cascading Research Group takes an intersectional lens to map the contours, causes, consequences and meanings of downward mobilities in the U.S., India, and other countries. The group reviews the gendered and racialized processes that affect women and men in this era of growing inequality, reinforced glass ceilings, diminished public safety net, enduring prejudice, and blocked opportunity. The term “Cascading” describes the process of falling from a particular social location in ways that precipitate additional declines – social, interpersonal, and aspirational, as well as financial (Hansen, Strand, and Leonard 2019). Given the complexity in these times of increasing precarity, we urgently need to understand the structural, intersectional, and interpersonal processes that can turn a shock into a cascade and what serves as a source of resilience.

Research Group Participants