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UNM Department of Sociology Welcomes Its Newest Faculty Member

Departmental News

Posted: Jan 02, 2018 - 12:00am

The UNM Sociology Department is excited to welcome our newest faculty member, Dr. Eli Wilson (PhD, UCLA 2017).  Dr. Wilson is currently a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Los Angeles.

As a scholar of race, ethnicity and work, Dr. Wilson’s research examines how inequality is both reproduced and challenged in institutional settings.  For his dissertation, “Serving Across the Divide: Race, Class, and the Production of Restaurant Service in Los Angeles”, he conducted a five-year ethnographic study of upscale restaurant labor in Los Angeles. Within service organizations known for luxury consumption and low-paying service labor, Wilson examines how social distinctions between workers, customers, and managers reinforce social inequality in the workplace. While management’s use of discriminatory worker ideals initially channel white, class-privileged men and women into higher-earning front of the house jobs and immigrant Latino men into lower-earning back of the house jobs, intra-worker dynamics further estrange these groups from one another. By enacting group boundaries, fellow workers come to navigate an organizational environment cleaved into two unequal worlds of work, spatially proximate yet closed against one another.

Dr. Wilson’s research is published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, Research in the Sociology of Work, and Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. He is currently working on a book project based on his dissertation research.

Dr. Wilson will formally join the department in the Fall of 2018.