MJ Hill

MJ Hill

Graduate Student

Email: amjhill@ucla.edu

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I am a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a conversation analyst, I use audio and video recordings of naturally occurring social interactions to study how difference and inequality are produced through social interaction. My research on 911 calls examines how callers seeking police assistance routinely use race as a resource to secure help, sometimes using it to justify the police-worthiness of their complaint. Callers who use race as complaint-relevant rely upon (and reproduce) taken-for-granted assumptions, e.g. that white race connotes vulnerability while Black race connotes dangerousness. In interactions like these, mutually agreed-upon understandings of categories like race and gender are exposed, offering a window into how we use them to make meaning of our social world. In studying these interactions, I aim to better understand how systems of inequality are continually produced through informal interpersonal processes.


  • M.A. in Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles 2016
  • B.S. in Sociology, Illinois State University 2011

Fields of Study

Gender, social categorization, conversation analysis, ethnomethodology

Awards & Grants

  • 2016  Top Student Paper, Language & Social Interaction Division, National Communication Association


  • Steven Clayman