faith in democracy across the political divide
Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a local Tea Party group and a progressive faith-based community organization, this project offers an in-depth portrait of grassroots organizing and active citizenship across the political divide. A book based on this research, entitled Prophets and Patriots: Faith in Democracy Across the Political Divide, was recently published by the University of California Press. In addition, selected findings are reported in the American Sociological Review, Contexts, Qualitative Sociology and Understanding the Tea Party Movement.
the politics of (in)civility
Based on ethnographic research, media coverage of recent events, a review of existing research on political protest, and an original experiment, this project explores the ways in which authorities and political actors engage in civility discourse as a means of controlling protest, delegitimizing opponents, and claiming moral distinction.
the moral meaning of taxes
This project examines the politics of taxation as a means of exploring a tension at the heart of diverse democratic societies: namely, that between civic duty and individual morality. In a society as value-diverse as the U.S., it is likely that some tax/spending policies will generate moral conflicts for some citizens. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and ethnographic observation of groups who engage in protest as "taxpayers" and as tax resisters, the project documents varied ways in which citizens resolve such conflicts, and illuminates the often-overlooked moral meaning of taxes.
religion and progressive politics
This line of research investigates the ways in which progressive religious leaders and communities inject their voices and values into public debates in the US, with an emphasis on national policy debates. A co-edited book on this subject, Religion and Progressive Activism: New Stories About Faith and Politics, was recently published by NYU Press. In addition, findings are reported in the American Sociological Review, the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and other outlets.
religious conviction and intellectual humility