Detroit’s neighborhoods: getting by

As part of the continued and much needed conversation about the state of Detroit 50 years following the 1967 uprising, Eli Newman with WDET invited me to share my research with him for a short segment on the city’s thriving though largely invisible informal economy.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share some of my experiences I’ve had with dozens of men and women and families and small businesses over the past three years in one of Detroit’s neighborhoods. This dialogue continues to bring attention to neighborhoods that continue to struggle both economically and socially.

The link can be found here.

The local economy: 50 years later

In addition to the many local and national conversations about what has and what has not changed in the fifty years following the Detroit rebellion, the Detroit News ran a special issue of the 1967 Detroit uprising. In this issue, journalist Kim Kozlowski spent time in one of Detroit’s neighborhoods, asking how Detroiters are getting by economically and socially – in neighborhoods that are not seeing the benefits of revitalization efforts of the midtown and downtown business districts.

Included in the article is part of an interview with me about my ongoing research in one Detroit neighborhood. I welcome the opportunity to bring attention to Detroit including the remarkable adaptability of residents, the commitment and best intentions of the organizations in the neighborhood, as well as the struggles many continue to face – fifty years later.

The link can be found here.

Michigan Radio interview

January 2017

Stateside with Cynthia Canty, one of Michigan Radio’s regular programs, invited me to be a part of their Next Idea series which highlights ideas and innovations that help push Detroit forward. My essay, “Detroit’s informal economy could grow if people just had the right connections” and interview from February 13, 2017 can be found here:


In the Media

  • Check out part of an interview with me discussing my research in Detroit with journalist Valerie Vande Panne in Bloomberg Businessweek here.  January 12, 2017.

Confessions of a Novice Researcher

Confessions of a Novice Researcher. This is a re-print of a post I recently wrote for the Gender & Society blog about my experience as a qualitative in the field.

Original post: here.

Ethnographic research is far messier than I anticipated. And harder.  And complicated. And…well, you get the idea. As a novice researcher, I’ve repeatedly found myself in situations that mountain of methods books warned about but failed to prepare me for. The reality is that qualitative research is a process that is perpetually evolving. And to be blunt, I often find I have no idea what I’m doing—let alone doing it right. However, I remain optimistic that the more experience I amass in the field, the more skilled I’ll be as a feminist qualitative researcher. Read more