I am a doctoral candidate of Sociology at the University of California Berkeley, where I’m affiliated with the Global Metropolitan Studies Program and Center for Ethnographic Research. I’m an editor and co-founder of the new Berkeley Journal of Sociology: an online-first graduate run publication of public scholarship aimed at broadening the interpretive range and prospective application of social research to political struggles, emerging cultural trends, and alternative futures.
My research focuses on how ensembles of economic development, welfare, and criminal justice policies shape the production and regulation of poverty and housing in US cities. Convening knowledge from across the social sciences my research on the uneven reconstruction of Post-Katrina New Orleans, mass homeless encampments across Pacific Coast cities, and the management of homelessness in San Francisco has been featured in publications of sociology, geography, anthropology, film, planning, architecture, and urban studies.
My dissertation examines the restructuring of homeless regulation in the American city from 1983 to the present through ethnographic and archival methods. The project deploys a unique double-edged enactive ethnography in the city of San Francisco: living alongside those experiencing homelessness in encampments, shelters, and residential hotels, while also working alongside bureaucrats, activists, and service providers addressing homelessness. In tracing the logics and practices at the interface of the local state and its homeless subjects the dissertation exposes how a new blend of criminalization, medicalization, and socialization of the homeless condition reproduces class and racial divisions among the city’s most precarious factions in novel ways.
Before coming to Berkeley, I completed an MA in Social Anthropology at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (2010) and a BA in Economics from Bard College (2008). I also worked as a Project Manager in New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Please feel free to drop me a line at christoph.herring (at) berkeley (dot) edu.