I am a Sociologist. My research on social inequality and place focuses primarily on 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 explanations and have implications for research on race, gender, public education, and economic development.
I am Professor Emerita from the University of Memphis where my research received the Distinguished Research Award and a Dunavant University Professorship. The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where I earned my Ph. D., recognized my work with its Alumni Scholarly Achievement Award in 2018. I received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Tennessee Department of Sociology in 2016.
Currently, I serve as a member of the Dean's Advisory Board for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee. 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.