About Me

self portrait
Here’s the PDF version of my most recent CV.

I’m an assistant professor of Sociology at UCLA and my research interests include education, culture, religion, and theory. My first book, published by Oxford University Press in 2021, is titled Agents of God: Boundaries and Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools.

My current projects are

1. a theory book tentatively titled What We Talk About When We Talk About Schools.

2. an empirical project based on my postdoctoral research in six public high schools, two each in New York City, San Diego, and Charlotte, NC, looking at how different students talk about success.

3. various and sundry stand-alone papers with brilliant and patient co-authors.

My work centers around a few key theoretical concerns: (1) the cognitive, social, and institutional processes through which people’s values and orienting commitments are developed and (2) the relationship between authority and moral life. These concerns are buttressed by an ongoing interest in qualitative methodology, especially the conditions necessary for ethnographic comparison and the processes through which groups and individuals maintain coherent identities over time.

I have studied in Damascus, Syria and Mexico City, Mexico, and I hold a Modern Middle East Studies Certificate from Yale University. While the majority of my recent work is on the United States, I maintain an interest in the Middle East and Latin America.