Research

Sentencing Corporations in the Neoliberal Era: Using the US Sentencing Commission’s organizational data from 2002-2015, my dissertation research examines sentencing outcomes for corporations within the context of the Global Financial Crisis. Law violation and financial fraud were two major factors contributing to the financial crisis of 2008, yet many of the top executives of the “too big to fail” banks and high-ranked personnel involved in the financial fraud have gone unpunished. The failure to prosecute top executives following the crisis raises serious questions about how the criminal wrongdoings of white-collar offenders are treated in the United States. Addressing these questions requires exploration of the socio-political context of the state-corporate nexus in contemporary United States society. Using a contextual framework, my dissertation assesses the current state of federal corporate sentencing.

Gender, Social Networks, and Mental Health: This work extends social-psychological research on social networks and mental health by assessing cross-gender differences in social integration and depression among United Methodist Clergy in North Carolina. Findings from previous studies are consistent with the main assumptions of social network theorizing in that social networks influence behavioral and health outcomes. In particular, low levels of social support from social networks, as well as social isolation, lead to psychological distress, including depression. While women tend to have larger social networks than men do, women often have higher rates of depression. Depression is a gender appropriate response mechanism for women in the face of unfavorable life events. This work elaborates on these lines of inquiry by using social network analysis to understand how gender shapes the relationship between social integration and depression. Using data from the Clergy Health Initiative, a longitudinal analysis of North Carolina United Methodist Clergy, this study reveals gender differences in depression using measures of social integration within a closed occupational network. See below, the Network of United Methodist Clergy in North Carolina:

Media Framing and Corporate Malfeasance: This line of research explores how the media frames crimes of the powerful. Currently, one project analyzes media framing of the Icelandic social movement against government officials and corporate actors involved in the 2008 global financial crisis. Further, another project assesses the media coverage following the Rana Plaza collapse to explore how the media frames corporate deviance, attributions of blame and resolutions.