Dr. Murphy’s research 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 a book, “When the Sidewalks End: Poverty in an American Suburb,” an ethnographic study of the social organization of poverty in one suburb. Another line of research examines the causes and consequences of transportation insecurity.
Ph.D. and M.A. Princeton University; B.A. Barnard College