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 professionals about the outsourcing of their work.
I have continued doing qualitative research on the outsourcing of professional work and, recently, I have completed one article on institutional and environmental factors involved in the deskilling of professional work. I have submitted it for consideration to a scholarly journal in the sociology of work. I am also completing a book manuscript on the effects of outsourcing on social relations, culture, employment, and professional work.
2018 Conference Presentations
“Trading In Human Beings on Behalf of Cost Reduction:” An Introduction to in-House Outsourcing and Why Companies Outsource. Eastern Sociological Society Conference, February, Baltimore, MD
Team-based Learning: The Role of Student Behaviors and Team Processes. Eastern Sociological Society Conference, February, Baltimore, MD. (With Susan Brudvig)
The Impact of Behaving Cooperatively and Withholding Effort in Team-Based Learning. Marketing Educators’ Association, April, Santa Fe, NM. (With Susan Brudvig)
“Trading in Human Beings On Behalf of Cost Reduction:” Precarity in Jobs, Work Relations, and Meaning with in-House Outsourcing. Society for the Study of Social Problems, August, Philadelphia, PA
Book on “In-house Outsourcing” (internal outsourcing).
I am completing a book manuscript on the “in-house outsourcing” of information technology and human resources jobs. I completed 51 qualitative interviews with outsourced professionals from 2005 to 2017. The title of my book—forthcoming with Routledge in 2018—is:
Research on Sociology Alumni from West Chester University
In fall 2015 I began a research study on the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education of Sociology alumni who have recently graduated from West Chester University (WCU). My colleague Dr. Miguel Ceballos and I call our collaborative study “The Sociology Majors Project.” As part of the curriculum in two of the sociology classes I teach (Sociology of Organizations and Sociology of Work) students are contacting sociology alumni from West Chester University to better understand the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education they pursue post-graduation. This knowledge will be shared with the department, WCU faculty, and faculty across disciplines to help shape: curriculum, academic and career advisement, and pedagogy and teaching.
New Research on Team Work and Team Learning
In spring 2017, I began a research study on teamwork and team learning in sociology and marketing classes. I am collaborating with Dr. Susan Brudvig in the School of Business at Indiana University East on this research. The results of our survey research will improve the composition, purpose, pedagogy, and student learning outcomes of teamwork in courses across disciplines.