Faculty by courtesy

Alexandra Murphy

Assistant Professor of Sociology; Faculty Affiliate, Population Studies Center; Assistant Professor of Public Policy (by courtesy)

Alexandra K. Murphy is an assistant professor of sociology and a faculty affiliate of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, with a courtesy appointment at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her research, she uses ethnographic methods to examine how poverty and inequality are experienced, structured, and reproduced across and within multiple domains of social life, including neighborhoods, social networks, and the state. One line of research investigates the new suburban poverty. Murphy's work in this area has focused on variations in social service responses to rising poverty across diverse suburbs; urban and suburban comparisons in social service capacity; and the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues suburban poverty raises for a sociological understanding of geography and inequality. Murphy is currently working on her book, When the Sidewalks End: Poverty in an American Suburb (Oxford University Press), an ethnographic study of the social organization of poverty in one suburb.  Another current line of research examines the causes and consequences of transportation insecurity. She received her PhD in sociology and social policy from Princeton University.