Sam Lutzker

Sam Lutzker

Graduate Student

Office: A56 Haines Hall


Curriculum Vitae


Sam Lutzker is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at UCLA whose research uses ethnographic, interview and archival methods to examine state and civil society-driven actions pertaining to homelessness in California. He is also interested in how informal roles emerge, become established and shift within unhoused communities. His research follows participants through a variety of housing forms, from living in vehicles to hotel rooms like those contracted through state programs such as Project Roomkey. Sam is also a member of the After Echo Park Lake Research Collective at the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality & Democracy. He believes in producing knowledge with unhoused people and has published in such outlets as Radical Housing Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Knock.LA.

In a slightly different vein, his MA project analyzes oral history data from Facing Whiteness to describe how White Americans develop racial awareness and engage in antiracist brokering with White peers. More broadly, his research interests include urban sociology, race & ethnicity, ethnography, mixed methods, public policy and public sociology.

Prior to graduate school, Sam was a project coordinator at INCITE in New York City, and a teacher in China. He loves hiking, biking and eating. You can find his rants (and sometimes helpful threads) on twitter.




  • M.A., UCLA, 2021
  • B.A., Columbia University, 2015

Fields of Study

Urban Sociology; Race and Ethnicity; Ethnographic Methods; Public Policy



Public Scholarship:

Awards & Grants

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP) Honorable Mention, 2021
  • UCLA Graudate Summer Research Mentorship (GSRM) 2021
  • UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship (GRM) 2020-2021
  • UCLA Graudate Summer Research Mentorship (GSRM) 2020
  • UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy Graduate Student Working Group Funding
    • Housing Justice Public Scholarship Series, 2021-2022
    • Informal Tenancy Working Group, 2021-2022
    • Palms Unhoused Mutual Aid, 2020-2021


  • MA Committee: Stefan Timmermans, Karida Brown