My research examines race/ethnicity and urban sociology using qualitative and quantitative methods. I am currently working on the following projects:  

1. Diversity and multiethnic neighborhoods
Growing ethnic and racial diversity is transforming America’s urban landscape by contributing to the emergence of multiethnic neighborhoods. While some view these neighborhoods as an alternative to racial segregation, others argue that diversity reduces interpersonal trust and participation in collective life. How are people interacting and getting civically engaged in multiethnic neighborhoods?

In my book manuscript, Integration Beyond Numbers: Getting Along and Working Together in a Multiethnic Neighborhood, I address this question through an ethnography of Rogers Park, one of the most ethnically/racially diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. It is based on three years of participant observation in public settings and community organizations--including the 49th Ward's Participatory Budgeting, a tenants' association, a church, a food distribution program--and 103 interviews with residents in English and Spanish.

2. Participatory budgeting
Participatory budgeting is a democratic process that allows individuals to decide how to spend part of a public budget. Participatory budgeting originated in Brazil in 1989 and over 7,000 places have practiced it worldwide. Chicago's 49th Ward was the first place to implement participatory budgeting in the United States. I became interested in this process while conducting research in the 49th ward for my dissertation. For three years, I observed public assemblies, meetings, and participated in voting outreach. One of the papers stemming from this project examines organizational efforts to make participatory budgeting more accessible to disadvantaged populations. 

3. Perceptions of race and skin color
In a series of papers, I explore racial and skin color classification in the U.S. and Latin America. In an article with Maria Abascal (2016), we find that U.S. raters perceive a face as darker-skinned when it is associated with a Hispanic name. We argue that subtle racial clues, such as a name, affect the perception of seemingly objective traits, such as skin color. In another paper, we examine the role of skin tone in labor markets among Blacks and Latinos. My work in Latin America examines public opinion on mestizaje (mixed-race) ideologies and how social factors influence how individuals self-identify and how survey-takers racially classify them.