Washington's legal recreational cannabis industry provides researchers a rare opportunity to investigate an emerging, morally contested market. My research brings together ethnographic field work, interviews with consumers and market actors, and large administrative data sets within this market to investigate how (and which) market actors construct the moral framing of this market. Additionally, my work seeks to investigate the potential ways this moral framing shapes workers' experiences in this industry, the emergence of new categories and measures of quality, and the market and organizational structures themselves. My current project, Becoming a Cannabis Connoisseur: Moralizing Labor in Contested Markets, is funded by the Harry Bridges Center of Labor Studies (HBCLS) Washington State Labor Research Grant (link to manuscripts forthcoming).
In addition to my work in the cannabis industry, I am also interested in understanding the intersection of labor markets and the criminal justice system. Research in the past decade seeking to understand post-carceral experiences of individuals have revealed how deeply stigmatizing criminal records can shape one's ability to enter/reenter particular labor markets. My work attempts to push this narrative forward by understanding how fines and fees (LFOs), probation and parole, and accessibility of time, information, and reliable transportation can create additional barriers preventing individuals from accessing labor markets. My current work in this area is supported through a Research Assistantship through Dr. Alexes Harris' Multi-State Study of Monetary Sanctions funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Overall, my work contributes to the literature on labor and stigma as it is situated in the sub-field of morals and markets and work on prison/jail reentry. Broadly, my research tries to understand how and why people attempt to draw meaning from their work, how does this meaning shape how they interact with particular institutions and organizations, how this can then shape the institutions and organizations themselves, and what happens when these pathways to full market participation are blocked for various reasons.
As of Autumn 2018, I will be supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP).