PhD Student | Political Science
Are attitudes towards basic income structured similarly as attitudes towards welfare? Our research question is whether and how racial attitudes affect support for basic income policies, especially in comparison with welfare policies. A basic income is an unconditional cash grant given to all members of a society regardless of need. Basic income is expected to produce broader public support and lower administrative costs compared to traditional, means-tested welfare programs. This is because welfare programs do not benefit all populations equally, and thus have become racialized in the minds of the white public (Gilens 1995, 2009). Moreover, cash transfer programs represent an effective, direct means of combatting poverty. Many countries and organizations have begun to experiment with basic income policies as a means to fight inequality generally and poverty specifically. However, there are few studies—especially within the United States—that look at public attitudes towards basic income policies. The study proposed here is an important first step in examining how Americans feel about basic income, and how racial attitudes affect support for this anti-poverty policy tool.
PhD Student | Sociology
What motivates low-income people to mobilize against the extraction of natural resources, even when their governments claim that these projects generate much-needed jobs in underdeveloped regions? How do gender, indigenous identity, and globalization shape poor people’s motivations for, and experiences within, these mobilizations in repressive political contexts? I pursue these questions through in-depth interviews with opponents of mining in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca, coupled with six months of multi-site participant observation with Oaxaca’s anti-mining movement. My dissertation reveals how environmental ethics are constructed in interaction with the localized subsistence concerns of poor rural populations. I trace the process whereby such concerns can become translated and solidified into broad-based resistance to mining. I also show why the participants’ experiences and motivations vary by gender. To do this, I uncover how neoliberal globalization provokes protest not just by privatizing natural resources and threatening land rights, but also by transforming gender roles in the process of liberalizing agriculture.