I am currently a PhD Candidate in Sociology at Northwestern University. My research focuses on work, inequality, and organizations in the changing American workplace. My projects have included studies of minimum wage increases, office automation, and income growth in California hospitals—all showing how dynamics within firms continue to shape the well-being of workers and the future of the economy. I tackle pressing contemporary challenging, and combine major strands of sociological research on work, markets, gender, race, and the organization of the firm. My research offers workers, managers, and legislators new perspectives on social challenges.
My dissertation research examines the outcomes of minimum wage increases in Chicago and Oakland restaurants. Using interviews with owners, managers, and workers, I show that these increases had a broader impact than has previously been observed. Raises were extended to higher-paid employees as owners sought to preserve hierarchies and distinctions. Changes exacerbated existing tensions and posed financial challenges. My findings show that the minimum wage may be a more powerful tool for addressing the problems of low job quality than previously expected, but calls attention to the hidden struggles of owners adapting to these policies.