Assistant Professor

Office: Social Sciences 317
Phone: 773-702-6515

Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2013
M.A. University of Notre Dame, 2002
B.A. Harvard University, 2000


My work has focused on the relationship between the urban poor and middle class in Manila as located in slums and upper- and middle-class enclaves. The project has been to connect this relationship with urban structure on the one hand and political dissensus on the other. In the process, I highlight the role of class in shaping urban space, social life, and politics.

The project has resulted in several articles: on segregation in the form of the interspersion of slums and residential enclaves; on the urban poor’s support for populism; on the relationship between spatial and social boundaries; and on developing an urban sociology focused on cities in the Global South. This work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Qualitative Sociology, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. More recently, I published a book entitled The Patchwork City (details below).

My new project draws a link between democratic recession and the explosive growth of the middle class in the developing world. Specifically, I locate the Philippine middle class’ support for Rodrigo Duterte in their experience of democracy. My research aims to provide a thick account of this experience and, thereby, clarify the sources of democratic disenchantment in the Philippines and elsewhere.


The Patchwork City: Class, Space, and Politics in Metro Manila

The University of Chicago Press

What has neoliberal economic restructuring meant for urban experience? What has it meant, specifically, for the experience of class relations in cities of the Global South? A number of studies already focus on the plight of the urban poor or middle class under restructuring. It is not just the one or the other group being transformed, however, but their relationship. It is their dynamic, not their individual situations, producing new urban spaces, social relations, and politics.

Marco Garrido documents the fragmentation of Manila into a “patchwork” of classed spaces, particularly slums and upper- and middle-class enclaves. He then looks beyond urban fragmentation at its effects on class relations and politics, arguing that the proliferation of slums and enclaves and their subsequent proximity have intensified class relations. For enclave residents, the proximity of slums is a source of insecurity. They feel compelled to impose spatial boundaries on slum residents. For slum residents, the regular imposition of boundaries fosters a pervasive sense of discrimination. Thus we see class boundaries clarify along the housing divide and the urban poor and middle class emerge as class actors—not as labor and capital but as squatters and “villagers” (in Manila residential subdivisions are called villages). Garrido further examines the politicization of this divide in the case of the populist president Joseph Estrada. He shows the two sides drawn into contention not just over the right to the city but over the nature of democracy.

The Patchwork City illuminates how segregation, class relations, and democracy are connected and thus helps us make similar connections in other cases. It shows class as a social structure to be as indispensable to the study of Manila—and of many other cities of the Global South—as race is to the study of American cities.