Doctoral Candidate (2007)

MA, Sociology, University of Chicago

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I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology department at the University of Chicago, where my dissertation examines how college students develop and use cultural capital. I am also co-author, with Daniel F. Chambliss, of a book entitled How College Works, which examines the pathways of one hundred students over the course of eight years, during and beyond their time at an elite liberal arts college. My dissertation, titled Becoming Interesting: Cultural Capital Development Among Elite Undergraduates, examines how elite colleges facilitate students’ development of unacknowledged forms of cultural capital, reproducing inequality across several dimensions. Using interviews and ethnography at a selective college, I discover how students develop what I term narrative capital—experiences and stories that serve as a form of cultural capital, signifying their status. Experiences such as travel abroad are central to students’ projects of “becoming interesting”—accruing the experiences necessary to identify as upper middle class.

Master's Title:

How Students Choose their Major

Selected Publications:

Chambliss, Daniel F. and Takacs, Christopher G. 2014. How College Works. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press