Department of Sociology
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone (Cell): (808) 383-2486
Fax: (401) 863-3213
B.A. Social Studies, Harvard College 2001
M.A. in Sociology, Brown University 2005
Areas of Interest:
Urban Sociology, Political Sociology, International Migration, Race and Ethnic Relations, Comparative-Historical Sociology, Sociological Theory
Year of Entry: 2003
I am currently writing a dissertation on the politics of urban development in Hawai’i , which has been supported by fellowships from Brown University and the National Science Foundation. (Please see below for a summary).
While at Brown I have also been an affiliate of the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) initiative as a Research Assistant for Professor John R. Logan and an S4 fellow. I have conducted research on the political incorporation of immigrants in the U.S. and been involved in other ongoing S4 projects.
In 2005 I completed my MA thesis at Brown on the HIV/AIDS social movement in Brazil and its engagement with the Brazilian government, at state and national levels.
I came to Brown after receiving my BA in Social Studies at HarvardUniversity where I completed an honors thesis ontheories of deliberative democracyand culturally-specific deliberative practices of Hawai’i.
Contested Destinations: Community Engagement and Land-Use Regulations in Tourism Urbanization
How do vulnerable communities influence the fate of their urban environments? And when they do exercise influence, often against the odds, through what strategies and under what conditions can they shape urban development, particularly tourism-driven development? The goal of my dissertation project is to identify the social processes through which communities exert leverage over urban development and the construction of tourism destinations. I investigate how local residents engage with land-use regulations and assert distinctive cultural frameworks in efforts to exercise their interests. I employ qualitative case studies of three contested tourism-development sites in the state of Hawaii in which community members successfully halted or slowed projects, or obtained significant concessions from developers. For analytical contrast, a fourth site is examined in which community efforts to influence the development of a large coastal resort complex were largely unsuccessful. Data sources include public records, newspapers, personal interviews, and existing video footage.
The primacy of tourism-driven urbanization in Hawaii makes it a useful case for generating theory. Hawaii’s unusually dense and robust land-use regulatory system also make it an important study site for revealing the social struggles surrounding urban growth regulation. Finally, this project aims to bring concepts from cultural sociology to bear on debates at the intersection of urban politics and urban sociology.