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 forthcoming book, Privileging Place: How Second Homeowners Transform Communities and Themselves (Princeton University Press, June 2024), 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.