Anthropology & Sociology
West Chester University
Associate Professor of Sociology
I have ongoing scholarly interests in the growing contingencies workers face in their jobs and employment relations. This is because of my background. I grew up in Kenosha, WI. Similar to industrial-based cities in PA like Reading, Allentown, and Pittsburgh, a significant proportion of Kenosha's population worked in durable goods and automobile production industries. This was until the ball dropped in the 1970s and early 1980s, when many auto and industrial workers in Kenosha experienced job loss. What happened to Kenosha's auto and industrial workers was part of a larger social and economic process scholars call deindustrialization. Kathryn Dudley (Yale University), a cultural anthropologist from Kenosha, does an excellent job with interviews of unemployed auto workers there. And she discusses the shift from a "culture of the hands" to a "culture of the mind" in her award winning book The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Post-Industrial America (1994).
Through the 1970s, I grew up as part of the "working class" in Kenosha and this culture has had a significant effect on shaping my research interests in changes in work and organizations and technology in the workplace (a prime culprit in the reengineering of work, producing greater employment contingencies, and the job losses described above). For my master's thesis, I conducted ethnographic research of blue-collar temporary work. For my PhD, I interviewed information technologists and human resource professions about the outsourcing of their work.
The shift to a post-industrial economy, in part, provided an opportunity for me to break from my blue-collar background and earn a BA, MA, and PhD in Sociology. I was lucky to have a great set of scholarly mentors along the way. They are Dr. Gerhard Schutte, Dr. Lauren Langman, Dr. Marilyn Krogh, Dr. Peter Whalley (deceased), and Dr. Leigh Shaffer. I am very grateful to them. Their inspiring mentorship has fostered my recent scholarly interests in academic and career advising.
My Current Scholarly Projects (updated Fall 2014)
Currently, I am on sabbatical and working on three conference papers and a book manuscript.
Book Manuscript (tentatively titled)
I am currently seeking a book publisher.
Areas of Scholarly Interest