The Cincinnati Project


The Cincinnati Project—sponsored by the Sociology Department’s Kunz Center for Social Research—is a set of Cincinnati-based research projects designed to expand knowledge of the social dynamics of urban places. The Cincinnati Project aligns with the three research groups at the Kunz Center: 1) urban and race, 2) family and gender, and 3) medical sociology.

The Kunz Center supports The Cincinnati Project through funding and activities for sociology faculty and graduate students. In addition, the Kunz Center for Social Research organizes interdisciplinary workshops and coordinates participation in Cincinnati community events. The inaugural Annual Symposium of The Cincinnati Project will take place in the Fall of 2014.

Faculty Research in Cincinnati

Littisha Bates is collecting data to examine how immigrant parents in Cincinnati understand and perform parental involvement outside of schools. As a new destination for immigrant populations and a growing immigrant population, the city of Cincinnati is a prime location for this project. The goal of this project is to reconceptualize parental involvement to include measures that reach across racial/ethnic, cultural, gender and socioeconomic lines.

Danielle Bessett is working on a project titled, “Pregnancy after Problems: Women's Experiences of a Stigmatized Reproductive Career.” The study collected from postpartum women in hospitals in Cincinnati and Boston to investigates how women’s previous reproductive careers affect their experiences in subsequent pregnancies, with particular focus on the cultural stigma attached to “problem” pregnancies. The project is supported by the Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship and the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center.

Jennifer Malat works with researchers in the March of Dimes Prematurity Research Collaborative on a project that will collect data from women in Ohio cities, including Cincinnati, in order to reduce premature birth. In addition, Jennifer has collaborated with Farrah Jacquez (Psychology) on a proposal to study health care quality among Latinos in Cincinnati.

David Maume has an ongoing project examining the effects of working the late shift on workers and their families. For this project he surveyed Cincinnati-area employees in grocery and drug stores in 2007, and followed them up in 2008. His recent publications focused on how gender differences in work-family responsibilities affected sleep, and how working the late shift work affected marital quality. He is continuing this research by comparing how job satisfaction and turnover are affected by working the late shift.

Sarah Mayorga-Gallo’s primary focus in her Cincinnati research is to investigate how housing tenure (i.e., whether someone rents or owns her home), race, and the intersection of the two impact social interactions and inequality in urban neighborhoods. Similar to her previous neighborhood-based work, this project uses a multi-method approach to understand the experiences of residents in two Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Jeff Timberlake plans to study the impacts on downtown neighborhoods of the civil disturbances following the shooting of Timothy Thomas by Cincinnati police officers in 2001. This project will examine the extent to which these disturbances interrupted ongoing redevelopment projects and altered such factors as housing values and construction permit applications. This study will provide estimates of the neighborhood-related impacts of civil disturbances generally, as well as increase our sociological understanding of these events in Cincinnati in particular.

Graduate Student Research in Cincinnati

Kelli Chapman is working on a project titled, “Dating In and Out of the Closet: Negotiating Relationships as an LGBT Teen.” The study examines the dating and sexual decision-making of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens in the Cincinnati area, with particular focus on how families, schools, and peer groups influence their decisions.

Ciera Graham is collecting data from University of Cincinnati college students to examine how black undergraduate students perceive and utilize black student organizations at predominately white institutions. Additionally, she would also like to understand how factors such as gender, social class and sexuality shape both their experiences and involvement. The goal of this project is twofold, as it seeks to understand how historically disadvantaged groups deal with their marginalization, and learn how to create a more inclusive campus environment for students of color at predominately white campuses.

Travis Speice’s current research explores the intersection of gendered and sexual identities. He is interested in the ways that gay men manage these identities separately and simultaneously. Using in-depth interview data as evidence, Travis focuses on the strategies men use in various social contexts (e.g. home, work, online) to manage their identities.

Megan Underhill’s dissertation project, Becoming White, is a qualitative study of white families in two Cincinnati neighborhoods that examines what—and perhaps more importantly, how—middle and lower income white parents, teach their children about race and class. Through qualitative interviews with 50 white parents in both a white segregated and a multiracial neighborhood, this project also investigates whether a family’s social class and neighborhood racial composition influence the racial socialization process.

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