Dissertation: “Housing Precocity: Compulsion, Normalization, and Neo-liberal Logic”
Committee: Christopher Mele (chair), Robert Adelman, Mary Nell Trautner
Research Areas: Criminology; Urban sociology; Community; Housing inequality; Inequality and stratification; Culture
Gregory Hall is a graduate student in the UB Department of Sociology. An urban sociologist studying housing inequality in the U.S., he asks how housing instability and structural pressures shape the ways that low-income individuals construct their actions, behaviors, and lives. He looks to extend his current research to focus on how marginal groups, such as the formerly incarcerated, construct their housing searches and situations post-incarceration and how a collective identity may benefit the construction of better housing policy.
Dissertation: “Morality in the Making of Urban Space”
Committee: Christopher Mele (chair), Jorge Arditi, Hanna Grol-Prokopczy
Research Areas: Theory. Urban Sociology. Sociology of Culture. Sociology of Morality. Sociology of Science, Knowledge, and Ideas
I’m Vinay, a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University at Buffalo. Broadly, I’m interested in how moral concepts and ideas influence how we build, organize, and arrange urban spaces. My dissertation looks at how urban policies and practices in global cities are underlain and mediated by moral concepts and ideas. Beyond this line of work, I’m curious about the theoretical and conceptual tools the social sciences use to produce knowledge about morality, and how, if at all, such moral knowledge has practical implications. When I’m not writing, I can be found trying to teach. I have mainly taught courses on Classical Sociological Theory and the Sociology of Popular Culture.
Dissertation: “Life in a Leaded Landscape: Understanding Housing, Stigma, and Struggle in the Rest Belt”
Committee: Erin Hatton (chair), Christopher Mele, Veronica Horowitz, and Anya Bernstein (law school)
Research and Teaching Interests: Urban Sociology; Social & Sociological Theory; Law & Society; Qualitative Methods; Poverty & Inequalities; Environmental Sociology; Social Problems; Cultural Sociology
Recent Courses Taught
Matthew H. McLeskey is a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in the Department of Sociology at University at Buffalo, SUNY, and was a 2019-20 Advanced Dissertation Fellow at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute. Broadly speaking, his research program focuses on how lead poisoning as an environmental risk contributes to urban poverty. His dissertation, funded by UB’s Mark Diamond Research Fund, documents the material and cultural processes defining the threat of lead exposure for tenants and landlords in disinvested communities to further understand how this urban epidemic contributes to housing inequality and place-based stigmatization processes. His teaching has been recognized with the Department of Sociology’s Adeline Gordon Levine Excellence in Teaching Award and an ASA Teaching & Learning Section SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award. He has also expanded his pedagogical repertoire as a teaching assistant in the Center for Excellence in Writing from 2017-20, where he oversaw social science writing instruction, and he will be a teaching assistant in the Curriculum Capstone Program for the 2020-21 academic year. His work has appeared in Teaching Sociology; City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action; and The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics.
Dissertation: “The Making and Breaking of Cultural Practice: Food, Waste and Community in a Postindustrial City”
Committee: Erin Hatton (chair), Jorge Arditi, and Christopher Mele
Research Areas: Theory; Urban; Race; Environmental; Culture; Food
Jared is currently completing his dissertation, a book manuscript geared towards undergraduate student learning that is based on two years of ethnographic research at an urban farm. This project contributes to sociological understanding about food justice, ecological sustainability, social movements, friendship, and the sociology of knowledge. Pedagogically, Jared’s approach to teaching is creative and interactive, and he was honored to accept teaching awards from the Department of Sociology in 2016, and from the University at Buffalo in 2018. His future plans are to further connect teaching with research, most notably by developing classes that both engage undergraduate students in research activities, and connect them with community-based organizations and initiatives. Currently, Jared is also a Graduate Fellow with the Office of Inclusive Excellence at the University at Buffalo, working alongside the Vice Provost to create policies and programming that bolster the recruitment, retention, and success of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff on campus.
Dissertation: “Public Opinion of Health Care Systems: Social Determinants and the Moderating Effects of Social Contexts and Historical Contexts"
Committee: Kristen Schultz Lee (chair), Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk, Jessica Su
Research Areas: Medical Sociology; Aging and Life Course; Law and Society
Sam is a PhD candidate and an adjunct instructor at the Department of Sociology, University at Buffalo, SUNY. In her dissertation she uses a diverse set of sociological methods and theories to understand the interactive effects of social or historical context and individual socio-economic background on opinion of healthcare system. This projects enhances understanding the relationship between institutional structure and public perception. The empirical analyses have important practical implications for medical, political, and sociological research. She is also a graduate assistant at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, School of Law, University at Buffalo, SUNY.