Relative to the post-War era, the current political economic climate in the United States is characterized by such features as a declining and devolving federal welfare state, decreased employer protections, and the bifurcation of the labor market. These changes translate to growing risks for the American populace, coupled with declining protections meant to smooth such risk.
While the concomitant growth of income, earnings, and wealth inequality over the past several decades is well-documented, my research agenda interrogates contemporary inequalities from a different perspective; namely, I study spatio-temporal and socio-demographic inequalities in exposure to diverse forms of insecurity, and the consequences thereof for life chances. Specifically, I study inequalities associated with experiencing economic insecurity, job loss and precarious work, foreclosure and eviction, and food insecurity, with particular attention to the ways in which crisis events elucidate, create, and transform such disparities. In doing so, I actively endeavor to produce scholarship that both (a) contributes to the scholarly cannon and (b) is grounded in the lived experiences of community members broadly construed, addressing some of the most pressing social problems they face.
Methodologically, I leverage a wide range of question-driven techniques, and I use primary, secondary, and administrative quantitative and qualitative data. I also have extensive experience conducting locally embedded, community-engaged research and producing public-facing sociological content, in addition to academic manuscripts. Further, I am skilled in working across disciplinary boundaries to develop innovative approaches to studying pressing social problems through my postdoctoral experience working within a multi-disciplinary research unit.
Peer-Reviewed Publications (*graduate student; +community partner)
Villa, Lily K.*, Shakthi Bharathi Murugesan*, Lora A. Phillips, Alexandria J. Drake*, and Nathan A. Smith+. 2022. “Mobile Pantries Can Serve the Most Food Insecure Populations.” Health Equity 6(1): 49-54.
Phillips, Lora A., Patricia Solís, Chuyuan Wang, Katsiaryna Varfalameyeva*, and Janice Burnett+. 2021. “Engaged Convergence Research: An Exploratory Approach to Heat Resilience in Mobile Homes.” The Professional Geographer. DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2021.1924805.
Lopez, Steven and Lora A. Phillips. 2019. “Unemployed: White Collar Job Searching after the Great Recession.” Work and Occupations 46(4): 470-510.
Restifo, Salvatore J., Vincent J. Roscigno, and Lora A. Phillips. 2019. “Racial/Ethnic Hierarchy & Urban Labor Market Inequality: Four Poignant Historical Cases.” City & Community 18(2): 662-688.
Dwyer, Rachel E. and Lora A. Phillips Lassus. 2015. “The Great Risk Shift and Precarity in the U.S. Housing Market.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 660(1): 119-216.
Lassus, Lora A. Phillips. 2015. “Over the Hill, Under Siege: Labor Force Graying, Labor Market Pushes, and Consequences for Life Chances.” Sociology Compass 9(9): 814-827.
Lassus, Lora A. Phillips, Steven Lopez, and Vincent J. Roscigno. 2015. “Aging Workers and the Experience of Job Loss.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 41: 81-91.
For Manuscripts in Preparation, and additional professional research experience, please view my CV.