Dilara Yarbrough

BA: Grinnell College, English, 2006

MA: UC San Diego, Sociology, 2011

CPhil: UC San Diego, Sociology, 2014

PhD: UC San Diego, Sociology, expected 2016

Research and teaching interests: poverty and homelessness; social policy; race, class and gender; sexualities; social movements; social inequalities; Participatory Action Research; qualitative methods

"Outlaw Poverty Not Prostitutes": Sex Workers' Responses to Poverty Management

My dissertation draws on interviews and ethnography with service providers, local officials and currently and formerly homeless sex workers to evaluate the effects of three different governmental responses to poverty: Criminalization, medicalization, and harm reduction. In order to understand the relationship between poverty management policies, economic (in)security and political participation, I compare sex workers’ experiences with law enforcement and social services. Focusing on one informal occupational group demonstrates how and why poor people with similar income strategies experience different interventions. My dissertation research contributes to a broader understanding of how law enforcement and service agencies construct race and gender, and how identity-based activism challenges these constructions.

Criminalization and Displacement of Homeless San Franciscans

In collaboration with community organizers and researchers at the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, I designed a mixed-methods study of the extent and impacts of criminalization and displacement on homeless San Franciscans. Between February-June 2015, sociologists and human rights organizers will provide ongoing training in qualitative methods, video production, and community organizing for seven homeless peer researchers. In addition to surveying 350 homeless San Franciscans about their experiences with law enforcement, peer researchers will conduct in-depth video recorded interviews with 50 homeless participants. Stipends for homeless peer researchers are funded through the Sociological Initiatives Foundation. Our Participatory Action Research project supports the ongoing legislative campaign to decriminalize homelessness in California and nationwide. Collaborators at the Coalition on Homelessness include human rights organizer Lisa Marie Alatorre, executive director Jenny Friedenbach, and sociologist Chris Herring. Our Research Advisory Board members are Paul Boden, Teresa Gowan, Janetta Johnson, Isaac Martin and Mia TuMutch. For more information, please contact cohstudy@gmail.com.

Articles in progress

"Harm reduction and political participation at a peer-led health clinic for sex workers"

"'You start with the youth': Systemic critique at a homeless service organization"

"'Running with my eyes closed': Trans resistance and belonging in neoliberal Istanbul"

Graduate Students