Ph.D. University of Southern California, Sociology
M.A. University of Southern California, Sociology
B.A. Pepperdine University, Communications and Sociology
The focus of my research and teaching is race-ethnicity, religion, identity, and social change. I am most interested in uncovering the dynamics of contemporary issues like diversity, religious innovation, and generational differences in self-understanding. My courses are often seminar style and are best characterized by a cooperative process of critical thinking and analytical dialogue.
I grew up on the west coast and credit the inventive and unique atmosphere of Southern California for stimulating my research interests. Immense racial and ethnic diversity, rapid pace of social change, and the rise of several prominent mega churches as well as the beginnings of the Charismatic-Pentecostal movement are all found there. Growing up, I assumed vibrant dynamics involving a mixture of race and religion like these were normal, when in fact they are actually exceptional and influential for the rest of American life.
Much of my scholarship and teaching is represented in the books I have written: