Before I entered graduate school, an old black man, who happened to be a social scientist, advised me to get as close as possible to the inner workings of people’s lives in order to understand mechanisms that perpetuate inequalities.  That’s what I try to do in my research.  And, I try to teach my students to do the same.

I study belonging.  In all of my research, I aim to understand how we create an “us” and a “them.” I try to understand how we structure our world to benefit the “us” and penalize the “them”–how we ensure the well-being of those who belong and alienate those who do not. Finally, I am very interested in how the “them” make do and deal with the consequences not belonging.

To say the same thing in sociology jargon, I use qualitative methods to examine how marginalized populations in urban locales make sense of inequalities in their everyday lives. I investigate how they interpret their social selves and order their relationships; how they create, maintain, and transform social and symbolic boundaries; and how boundaries constrain and enable their lives.

You can find out more about my research here.  And, here is my CV. 


A small bit about myself: I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa and am now an American.  I received my bachelor’s degree at Ithaca College and my graduate degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

I teach Sociology at Davidson College and, with my family, live in Charlotte, NC.