I am a Sociologist. My research focuses on social inequality with an emphasis on globalization and place, primarily in the American South. A recurring theme in my work is that tensions between global processes and local practices create paradoxes. These paradoxes challenge commonly accepted sociological explanations and have implications for research on race, gender, public education, and economic development.
My research has been awarded the Distinguished Research Award and a Dunavant University Professorship at the University of Memphis. In 2016, I received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Tennessee Department of Sociology. I served as a past Director of Women's and Gender Studies, and was a faculty affiliate with the Center for Research on Women. Currently, I serve as a member of the Dean's Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I am a former President of Sociologists for Women in Society. After two decades of living in Tennessee, I am back home in North Carolina. My husband Martin Levin and I live in Wilmington.