I am an assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University, where I am also the lead of the Data Science and Application Center. I earned my Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, where I was also an affiliate in the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CSSM).
My research focuses on questions of cognition and measurement in the sociology of culture. Specifically, I study how social contexts and cognitive structures interface to influence the stability and change of cultural knowledge and how to best measure cultural knowledge in natural language and survey data using computational methods. I have used this guiding interest in culture and cognition to study how journalists respond to innovative protest strategies, the evolution of family metaphors in U.S. State of the Union addresses, the relationship between self-personalization and online negativity for female U.S. congressional candidates, the different moral schemas that consumers use to evaluate the fairness of price changes, how gender biases manifest discursively in student evaluations of teaching, and why and when white nationalist organizations divert attention to the grievances that they do, among other topics in the sociology of culture, politics, and social movements. My research makes use of a wide range of computational and quantitative methods, and I have a particular interest in developing tools for computational cultural analysis—especially (semi)automated text analysis.
My current and forthcoming work can be found in Sociological Theory, Poetics, Socio-Economic Review, Political Behavior, Sociological Forum, Journal for the Theory od Social Behaviour, Sociological Science, Socius, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Journal of Computational Social Science, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, Deviant Behavior, and the Stata Journal, among other peer-reviewed outlets. My research and institution-building work have been funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, the Center for the Study of Social Movements, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.