Selected Publications

Advancement in medical science and technology enhanced the human capacity to intervene in the process of dying, forcing professionals and the public to face ethical dilemmas and question the boundary between life and death. The contentious discourse on this boundary is particularly salient given the unprecedented levels of population aging all over the world. This paper analyzes the discursive field surrounding a notable Italian end-of-life controversy. Combining field and narrative theories, the present study spans structural aspects and rhetorical mechanisms. Results show that not only are antithetical interpretations of the event tied to media’s ideological leanings, but the latter are also systematically associated with different sequential structures of headlines and story leads. Competing actors produce alternative frameworks by identifying different sets of perpetrators.
In Socius, 2017

The publication of The Spirit Level (Wilkinson and Pickett, 2009) marked a paramount moment in the analysis of health and inequality, quickly attracting a remarkable degree of attention, both positive and negative, both in academic and in public discourse. Following at least 20 years of research, the book proposes a simple and powerful argument: inequality per se, more specifically income inequality, is harmful to every aspect of social life. In order to confirm this idea, the authors present a series of bivariate, cross-sectional associations showing comparisons across countries and within the United States. Despite the methodological limitations of this approach, the authors advance causal claims concerning the detrimental effects of income inequality. They also rule out poverty as a plausible alternative explanation, without directly measuring it. Meanwhile, over the last decade stratification scholars have demonstrated the nonlinear effect of economic factors, especially income, on health. The results suggest that a relative approach is best for analyzing dynamics at the top of the income distribution, whereas an absolute approach seems most appropriate for studying the bottom of the distribution. Consistent with this perspective, here I reanalyze data from The Spirit Level, adding a measure of poverty, in order to control the effect of inequality and explore its interaction with poverty. The findings show that inequality and poverty—which I contend are two interdependent but nonetheless distinct phenomena—interact across countries, such that the detrimental effects of inequality are present or stronger in countries with high poverty, and absent or weaker in countries with low poverty; poverty replaces inequality as the favored explanation of health and social ills across states. The new evidence suggests that income distributions are characterized by a complex interplay between inequality and poverty, whose interaction deserves further analysis.
In Social Science & Medicine, 2015

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Two Worlds of Income Inequality and Health: A Case-Informed Quantitative Approach
Mar 15, 2019 12:00 PM
Income Inequality and Health: A Multiple Specification and Fixed-Effects Approach
Aug 13, 2018 8:30 AM


Spring 19 Courses:

  • Community & Contagion, Tu/Th 9:30-10:45, Monroe 301
  • Sociology of Popular Culture, Tu/Th 2:00-3:15, Mercy 201
  • Social Statistics, Tu/Th 3:30-4:45, Mercy 201
  • Social Statistics Lab, Tu/Th 4:55-6:10, Mercy 202

Student Resources

Loyola University New Orleans offers a number of services and resources for the well-being of its students (e.g., psychological counseling, suicide prevention, support for victims of sexual abuse, etc.)


What is plagiarism, and how to avoid it? Find out on the Monroe Library website.


UC Berkeley has a comprehensive writing guide for undergraduate students. See in particular: Thesis Statements, Guidelines for Critical Reading, and Checklists and Editing Tips.


Drop in or schedule an appointment with the Loyola University New Orleans Writing Center.


Based on my Social Statistics course, which uses Linneman, T. J. (2011). Social Statistics: The Basics And Beyond. New York: Routledge.


This video (also featured on The New York Times) uses rabbits and dragons to explain the Central Limit Theorem and the normal distribution.