2017. "Gender and Green Consumption: Relational, Practical, Material." Journal of Consumer Ethics.
2017. "Who Pays for the Next Wave? The American Welfare State and Responsibility for Flood Risk." Politics & Society 45(3): 415-440. Available here.
2013. “The taste for green: The possibilities and dynamics of status differentiation through “green” consumption.” Poetics 41(3): 294-322. Available here.
2010. "Contesting the Spectacle: Global Lives as Counterpublic in the Context of Celebrity Activism." Cultural Analysis 9: 146-151. Available here.
Is climate change insurable? Can insurance, as a technology of risk and governance, organize an adequate social and economic response to the complexity and scale of this modern, global risk? This book project assesses the insurability of climate change risks through the lens of the U.S. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the public insurance program that underwrites virtually all flood insurance for homes and small businesses in the U.S. Drawing on archival, interview, and ethnographic data, Underwater examines transformations in the calculation and distribution of flood risk as the American state responds to the rising costs of flood losses. The book uncovers the social and political challenges of using insurance to manage the risks associated with climate change, of using old programs to meet new threats.
Much of the scholarly debate on the insurability of climate change has emphasized technical and epistemological problems related to risk knowledge. Based on the case of the NFIP, I argue instead that distinct and significant limits to insurability derive from contentious risk politics and the social uncertainties that enhanced risk assessments generate. I develop this argument with chapters on risk classification, about establishing boundaries, physical, social, and symbolic, that set categories of risk; on pricing, the use of practices and tools to calculate the cost of risk; and on distribution, the social and spatial allocation of risk and responsibility. Preceding these chapters, a historical chapter traces the origins of the NFIP, how it governs flood risk, and how it arrived at its crisis point.
Underwater also seeks to contribute to the sociology of climate change. Sociologists have shown that the natural disasters—floods, storms, wildfires, heat waves, and so forth—we connect to climate change have fundamentally social sources, and the threats now facing individuals and communities intersect with social differences, such as gender, race/ethnicity, class, and age. However, it is not simply the social production and distribution of hazards themselves that are sociologically important. It is also the representation of those hazards as risk, their economization, and how they are used to govern societies and shape behavior. In other words, we can build our sociological understandings of climate change not solely from investigating the social production and effects of floods, but also from examining the policies and programs that govern them. These policies and programs both shape how our society adapts to the physical, economic, and political pressures of climate change and structure how individuals experience these pressures in their daily lives.
With Marion Fourcade (UC Berkeley) and Olivier Jacquet (Université de Bourgogne), I am working on a comparative study of wine classifications in the U.S. and France, in order to gain leverage on questions related to the social conditions under which different forms of classification are institutionalized.
I was the research assistant for Arlie Hochschild's latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (available August 2016). I provided quantitative analyses of U.S. Census, General Social Survey, and Environmental Protection Agency data for the book and was first author on three of the book's appendices.