Dissertation: “Gentrification and Displacement in the American Rustbelt: A Two Neighborhood Comparison”
Committee: Robert Adelman (chair), Christopher Mele, Mary Nell Trautner, Waverly Duck (Pittsburgh)
Research Areas: Racial Residential Segregation, Gentrification, Housing, Neighborhoods, and Urban Sociology
J Coley is a Ph.D. candidate and lecturer in the Department of Sociology at University at Buffalo, SUNY, and is a 2021-2022 Advanced Dissertation Fellow at Buffalo’s Humanities Institute. Broadly speaking, their research focuses on gentrification, housing, and residential segregation in historically Black neighborhoods. Their dissertation, funded by UB’s Mark Diamond Research Fund, is a qualitative examination into the lives of the people displaced by gentrification occurring in two mid-sized cities: Buffalo, New York, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this research, I ask: In what ways have residents of gentrifying neighborhoods been displaced, dislocated, and/or isolated? How do current and previous residents resist or succumb to gentrification? Through in-depth interviews with current residents, previous residents, and community stakeholders and informants, their two-city, two-neighborhood comparison allows them to study the insights and narratives of a range of people impacted by gentrification on behalf of university affiliated institutions.
Dissertation: “A Search for Affordable Housing: Strategies, Normalization, and Individualism in Precarious Housing Situations. Minority Low-income Renters and Ex-Convicts”
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.
Website; Twitter: @MHMc1985
Dissertation: “Life in a Leaded Landscape: Understanding Housing, Stigma, and Struggle in the Rest Belt”
Committee: Erin Hatton (chair), Christopher Mele, and Veronica Horowitz
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 in the Department of Sociology at University at Buffalo, SUNY (UB) and was a 2019-2020 Advanced Dissertation Fellow at UB’s Humanities Institute. His dissertation, “Life in a Leaded Landscape: Understanding Housing, Stigma, and Struggle in the Rust Belt,” focuses on how lead poisoning as an environmental risk contributes to housing inequality. Funded by the Graduate Student Association’s Mark Diamond Research Fund at UB, his research uses Buffalo, NY as a case of urban decline and compares tenants’ and landlords’ experiences with housing posing threat of lead exposure to understand how regulatory structures, financial constraints, housing needs, and health concerns converge to contribute to the reproduction of urban poverty. His dissertation also documents the cultural processes defining threats of lead exposure for tenants and landlords in disinvested communities to understand how this urban epidemic contributes to place-based-stigmatization processes. This project engages with the agency of stigmatized subjects in relegated neighborhoods to addresses a social problem at the nexus of social theory, urban theory, and public policy: material and cultural factors intertwine to produce unexplored forms of urban marginality. His teaching has been recognized with the UB 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 teaching experience at UB as a teaching assistant in the Center for Excellence in Writing from 2017-20, where he oversaw social science writing instruction, and as a teaching assistant in UB’s Curriculum Capstone Program since the 2020-21 academic year. His work has appeared or will be forthcoming in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures, City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory, Policy, Action; Teaching Sociology; The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics; and Essays on the Sociology of Housing.