She is a theoretical generalist who studies social groups and networks as links between macro- structures and micro- attitudes and behaviors. Her research applies these lenses to several empirical subfields—organizations, religion, social movements, emotion, inequality, and crime/deviance. She is interested in exploring the processes by which individuals join and leave groups, invest time and resources in them, and come to hold their norms and values. In order to test theoretical predictions, she draws on individual-level, cross- organizational, regional, and national data and uses advanced quantitative as well as qualitative methodologies.
She is currently working on several projects: (1) Violent crime, victimization, and discrimination; (2) Civic engagement and collective action; (3) Emotional dynamics in megachurches; and (4) Religious commitment, identity, and group solidarity.