Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 2006
Urban Sociology, Racial and Ethnic Relations, Immigration, Sexual Risk Behavior, Health
1053 General Classroom Building
Research and Teaching Interests:
I currently focus on several important topics regarding race, urban sociology, and health in developing countries. I continue to examine the dramatic transformations in racial diversity currently underway in Los Angeles neighborhoods, and develop a multilevel framework for understanding interracial and interethnic differences in neighborhood attachment (i.e., expression of local sentiment and satisfaction, as well as behavioral engagement via neighboring and organizational participation). I also explore patterns of transnationalism (e.g., immigrants* sustained social, political, and economic connections with their former countries), which is an increasingly relevant aspect of the immigrant experience. In particular, I investigate how dual citizenship, ingroup attachment, and assimilation impact Asian and Hispanic immigrants* provision of monetary remittances to individuals in their native countries.
I am also focusing on the link between residential mobility/migration and sexual risk behavior in Africa as well as in the United States. I explore how migration to (and residence in) harsh urban slums in Nairobi, Kenya affects sexual risk outcomes, including early age at first sex, lack of condom use, and multiple sexual partnership. The importance of this research is driven by the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. By highlighting the role of residential migration and the dissimilarity between previous residence and current slum context, this research presents a model that has not been sufficiently explored by relevant literature. In an extension of this idea, these patterns were explored across five African cities, including Nairobi, Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Uganda in order to establish whether the slum environment exerts a uniformly negative effect on all residents, which is an important consideration when forming policy suggestions for effective HIV interventions. This model will be applied to research on respondents in Los Angeles County, considering not only the effect of impoverished neighborhood residence on sexual risk outcomes, but also the influence of residence in ethnic enclaves on sexual behavior among Asians and Hispanics.