PUBLICATIONS

Diana researches and writes about institutional cultures, professional socialization, racial inequalities, and pedagogy. Her CV is accessible below, as well as a select sampling of her writings.

Sociological Forum 

BECOMING A (PAN)ETHNIC ATTORNEY: HOW ASIAN AMERICAN AND LATINOS LAW STUDENTS MANAGE DUAL IDENTITIES

Managing professional and personal identities often belabor upwardly mobile racialized individuals. I exam- ine in this article how Asian American and Latino law students negotiate (pan)ethnic identities while learn- ing to become lawyers. I contend that managing dual identities creates (pan)ethnic duty among Asian American and Latino law students. I focus on those planning to work in law firms, at least initially. While there are many career options for law students, most, irrespective of race, pursue initial careers at law firms. What leads them there? How do racialization and expectations play a role in this career aspiration? And how do students negotiate the pressure to give back, or manage the internally/externally imposed duty they feel to serve respective communities? I find that Asian American and Latino law students draw on a repertoire of strategies (marginal panethnicity, tempered altruism, and instrumental ethnicity) that encompass different accounts, identities, and roles enabling creativity and elasticity for professional and personal identities. The findings suggest that panethnicity remains salient for upwardly mobile individuals of color, even those who do not ostensibly appear to be concerned with panethnic communities and causes.

International Journal of Clinical Legal Education 

TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK..BEFORE LAW SCHOOL: APPREHENSION, CONFIDENCE, AND CYNICISM AMONG LAW STUDENTS

Most socio-legal scholarship does not examine pre-law school preparation, more specifically, work experience. The recent American economic recession brought many working adults back into the fold of school. With regard to legal education in particular, how might work experience before law school affect students’ perceptions of the profession, themselves, and their career trajectories? And, how do these experiences vary between law schools, and among law students? Drawing on an ethnographic study at two divergently-ranked American law schools between 2009-2011 (the beginnings of the economic crisis), I argue that student work experiences (or lack thereof) before law school matter for their own perceptions of their school and overall career outlook. I typologize those who transitioned immediately from undergraduate to law school as “conventionals,” and those with work experience prior to commencing legal education as “returnees.” I find that overall, returnees are more confident about completing law school, yet cynical about legal education, while their conventional counterparts respect the pedagogy but remain apprehensive regarding their career outlook. In this respect, work experience provides a form of “capital.” Notably, most immigrant students in this study are conventionals, and I provide some suggestions to better incorporate these students who already feel as if they are posturing in an unfamiliar cultural and professional environment.

 LATISS: Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences (with Megan Thiele and Devin Molina)

ALIENATING STUDENTS: MARXIST THEORY IN ACTION

Karl Marx’s revolutionary call, ‘Workers of the World Unite’, resonates with many in today’s society. This article describes and assesses an easily reproducible classroom activity that simulates both alienating, and perhaps more importantly, non-alienating states of production as described by Marx. This hands-on learning activity gives students the opportunity to experience and process these divergent states. In reflecting, students connect their classroom experience to societal forces surrounding wage labour. A quasi-experimental design implemented across eight sociology classes at two U.S. university campuses – one two-year and one four-year college – points to the effectiveness of the activity. Evidence suggests that students are better able to grasp Marx’s theory of alienation, retain the knowledge over time and apply it to their own lives with this experiential learning activity.

 

THE NORM AMONG THE EXCEPTIONAL? EXPERIENCES OF LATINO STUDENTS IN ELITE INSTITUTIONS

This article examines Latino students’ experiences within two elite educational con- texts: an elite liberal arts college and an elite law school. Drawing on combined data of 42 in-depth interviews, we interrogate how elite institutional spaces reify and shape panethnic identities. In the face of marginalization in predominantly white, elite spaces Latino students strategically search for new community and comfort, which in turn influ- ence how they perceive their identities, encouraging a broadening of boundaries to include both panethnic and minority alliances. By documenting the experiences of Latino students in two stages of the educational pipeline, we show how elite institutions influence identity talk lead students to cultivate a sense of shared fate with other Latino- origin individuals and at times, people of color in general.