Swethaa Ballakrishnen

Swethaa Ballakrishnen is a National Poverty Fellow at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. Her research is focused on professional stratification in the developing world and uses the Indian legal market as an empirical case for understanding how social institutions, like schools and professional firms, are influenced by the global mandates of international law and regulation. Her work reveals, for example, that global law firms in India offer highly gender-egalitarian workspaces because they assume that the West is inherently gender-equal and wish to mimic this organizational form.

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Lauren Benditt

Lauren Benditt's research lies at the intersection of political sociology, organizations, and inequality. Over the last half-century, attitudes about the usefulness of government for reducing inequality have been dramatically transformed, and Lauren has been investigating this transformation with both survey research and qualitative methods. Her current projects explore why individuals choose to work in the public sector, how the recession has affected public employee altruism, and how the recent cultural turn against government workers has affected public employee job commitment.

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B. Esra Burak Ho

Esra Burak Ho is a National Poverty Fellow at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. She is interested in public opinion, political economy, and social policy. Her dissertation examines whether the current discontent with high incomes is a transitory reaction to the recent economic recession or a more fundamental questioning of the legitimacy of extreme inequality.

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Erin Cumberworth

Erin Cumberworth is involved in research on poverty, social inequality, and public policy. In her dissertation, she is examining the rapid transformation of the labor market in the United States over the past century and how it has shaped the lives of people in different social classes, especially those at the bottom of the class structure. She is also carrying out research on the social programs that have been implemented over that period to address poverty, the ways in which those programs have succeeded, and the ways in which they have failed.

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Lindsay Owens

Lindsay Owens is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology, a National Poverty Fellow at the Center on Poverty and Inequality, and a Graduate Research Fellow at the National Science Foundation. She is a frequent author of opinion pieces and editorials, coeditor of a chartbook of 100 facts and figures on inequality (Inequality in the US: Understanding Inequality with Data), and a contributing author to the 2011 book, The Great Recession. Her research has appeared in some of the leading social science journals including Social Forces, Public Opinion Quarterly, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Her research interests are in inequality, housing, debt, consumption, and political attitudes.

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Beth Red Bird

Beth Red Bird is a National Poverty Fellow at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her dissertation examines the relationship between class identity and income, education, family background, and occupation and how that relationship has changed. She also examines the economic frailty of the middle class, the extent to which class identity and occupational culture are related to economic decision-making, and the willingness of the middle class to resort to welfare during the Great Recession.

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Natassia Rodriguez

Natassia Rodriguez, a National Poverty Fellow, has research interests in educational inequality and the persistence of racial achievement gaps in the United States. Her current research focuses on educational attainment gaps among Latinos and the micro-level mechanisms perpetuating such inequalities. She is also carrying out research on why some Latinos decide to pursue higher education (while others don't), how college graduates are faring in the Great Recession, and the many financial barriers to education among low income families.

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Rachel Wright

Rachel Wright is a National Poverty Fellow at the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality. Her dissertation examines how nonprofits serving the low-income population determine what products and services to offer and whether their effectiveness is a function of the amount of client participation in the organization. She is also examining why many low-income families do not make use of food pantries providing free produce and other staples.

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