I am interested in how moral life works, especially in schools and religious groups.
My research interests include education, culture, religion, and theory. My first book, coming in December 2020 from Oxford University Press, is titled Agents of God: Boundaries and Authority in Muslim and Christian Schools. 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.
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. A study of women who choose to stop wearing the hijab with Eman Abdelhadi.
4. A study of parents’ and teachers’ conceptions of schooling under COVID.
5. Various and sundry stand-alone papers with brilliant co-authors.