I am a sociology PhD candidate and Lindt Fellow at Columbia University, primarily interested in the ways social institutions structure people’s subjective understandings of themselves and of the world around them, and of the impacts this has on inequality.
My main line of work focuses on mental health care as one such institution. For my dissertation, I use a variety of big-data, computational text analysis, geospatial, experimental, and audit approaches to study the current U.S. mental health care field. I examine mental health care from two intersecting perspectives: first, as a critical medical service offering life-saving care; and, second, as a centrally important cultural institution, providing people with powerful frames and tools to understand their lives and their troubles.
My dissertation uncovers how structural conditions determine different social groups’ access to different mental health care services and practices, and how the stratification of the U.S. mental health care field exposes different Americans to distinct sets of cultural scripts and understandings. Ultimately, I show how one’s sociodemographic characteristics determine the type of care one receives, and how different patient groups are socialized into disparate scripts of cognition, emotion and action in order to attain well-being. This is one way social stratification is replicated onto the personal problems field, and how inequality gets inscribed into Americans’ selves.
Before coming to Columbia, I studied clinical psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and practiced psychotherapy for two years at an adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit. I have also taught high school English and worked as a labor organizer. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and long distance cycling (while still thinking about my research anyway).