Research

I take a fairly broad approach to how I conceptualize and think about my work.  In my research, I focus on two related questions, in no particular order:

  1. How does identity (gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.) influence our general attitudes and behaviors?
  2. How do people from different social identity groups engage and interact with one another?

I investigate these questions in both work and non-work settings.  Below, I briefly highlight some research areas where I’m presently doing work with collaborators (although you should note this isn’t an exhaustive list).

NATURAL HAIRSTYLES

Sociohistorically, hair has played an important role in Black culture and White-Black race relations.  Given hair is an important dimension of self expression, and our hair texture and hairstyles may partially signal our identity, I argue that hair may act as a medium for ameliorating or exacerbating inequality.  In this research stream, I seek to understand how distinctive hairstyles that accentuate Black identity (like afros and dreadlocks) may play a broader role in understanding how inequality is produced and sustained, both for people of African descent and other marginalized groups in American society.  This line of work is the basis for my dissertation.

INTERGROUP RELATIONS & CREATIVITY

Creativity is an exciting and enriching aspect of work for employees.  Moreover, it fuels important contributions to organizations.  But underrepresented employees regularly encounter prejudice and rejection at work.  Here, I seek to understand how minority employees engage in creativity in the workplace, in light of ongoing concerns of harsh judgement and exclusion.

ALLYSHIP

The United States is one of the most diverse countries on the face of the planet, as is its labor force.  Nevertheless, organizations wrestle with creating inclusive workplaces.  Here, I seek to understand the role that allies play in promoting workplace inclusivity.  Specifically, I seek to understand how and why employees advocate for historically underrepresented groups that they’re not a part of.

TEASING

Humor plays a huge role in enriching our social life, and yet, very little research exists on humor at work.  Here, I’m interested in a particular form of humor: teasing.  Specifically, I seek to understand teasing at work as a gendered form of workplace socialization.

RACIAL PHENOTYPIC STEREOTYPICALITY

Most management research investigating racial inequality examines between-group racial differences.  Meanwhile, in psychology and sociology, there’s a large body of work looking at racial inequality manifesting within-group, based on physical appearance (including hair texture, nose, lips, skin complexion, etc.).  Here, I’m interested in how within-group racial differences in appearance predict career outcomes.

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