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Meaghan Stiman

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Office: Boswell Hall 226
Email: [[mlstiman]]
Research Areas: Urban & Rural Sociology, Culture, Community, Participatory Democracy, Housing
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 12:30-1:30 p.m. and by appointment


B.A., Sociology and Gender Studies, Stonehill College
Ph.D., Sociology, Boston University


Professor Stiman’s research investigates cultural influences on social processes such as community engagement, identity, and belonging, local governance and policy-making, and participatory democratic practices. 

Her in-progress book project, tentatively titled A Privileged Place, uses comparative case studies of second homeowners in Rangeley, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts to explore how notions of identity, nature, culture, and privilege shape upper-middle class people’s relationship to the city, the country, and the suburbs. Portions of this project have been published in three additional outlets, in which she uses second homeowners as a tool to explore contemporary processes of urban and rural change, such as rural place character (Rural Sociology 2020), urban elite’s variable place-making projects (Journal of Urban Affairs 2019), and the shifting geography of “the good life” in the twenty-first century (International Journal of Housing Policy 2020).

In another line of research, Professor Stiman explores participatory democratic practices related to pressing social problems, such as gun control (Social Currents 2021), land use, and housing insecurity. In a project in progress, Professor Stiman utilizes content analysis, participant observation, and in-depth interviews about a proposed dam removal in a coastal town to understand how communities make decisions in participatory settings. In an ongoing project with undergraduate research fellows from the Social Justice and Policy Initiative, she examines how civic leaders in a small city, including government officials, religious groups, and non-profit organizations, frame affordable housing as a social problem and implement solutions accordingly.

Selected Publications 

Stiman, Meaghan. (2021). “The Veil of Bureaucracy: How Officials Evade Partisan Politics in Participatory Settings.” Social Currents 8(6): 530-548

Stiman, Meaghan. (2020).“Discourses of Resource Dependency: Second Homeowners as ‘Lifeblood’ in Vacationland.” Rural Sociology 85(2): 468-494.

Stiman, Meaghan. (2020). Second Homes in the City and the Country: A Reappraisal of Vacation Homes in the Twenty-First Century.” International Journal of Housing Policy 20 (1): 53-74

Stiman, Meaghan. (2019).Speculators and Specters: Diverse Forms of Second Homeowner Engagement in Boston, Massachusetts” Journal of Urban Affairs 41(5): 700-720.

Brown-Saracino, Japonica & Meaghan Stiman. “How to Avoid Getting Stuck in Meetings: On the Value of Recognizing the Limits of Meeting Ethnography for Community Studies.” In J. Sandler & R. Thedvall (eds), Meeting Ethnography: Interrogating meetings as key technologies of contemporary governance, development, and resistance. New York and London: Routledge.