It seemed only right that I share my dissertation acknowledgements seeing as how many of you, out there and in here, helped me on this journey. Thank you.
There simply is not enough space for me to thank the many people who helped me make it this far but that will not stop me from trying.
My advisor, Richard Rubinson, anchored my journey and my sanity. Rick’s intellectual curiosity is bested only by his good humor. Now can I have your cell number? I am also in my committee’s debt. This is a better project for Cathy Johnson’s close reads; Irene Browne’s thoughtful nudges; Roberto Franzosi’s warmth; and Carol Anderson’s stunning intellectual breadth.
When I took my first sociology class a year into graduate school, it was at least three years after Sandy Darity first told me that I am a sociologist. I can think of no better gift to give my dearest mentor, friend and intellectual guide than the right to forever say that he told me so. I am a sociologist. I won’t try to repay you, Sandy. But I do endeavor to deserve your faith in me and to be the mentor to others that you’ve been to me.
Mine may well be the most enviable academic support network in history: Tim Dowd, Dorothy Brown, Bandana Purkayastha, Nancy Baym, Kevin Kinser, Myra Marx Ferrèe, Kieran Healy, Regina Werum, Jeffrey Alan Johnson, Gina Neff, Matt Reed and Jessie Daniels are just a few to whom I am indebted. I owe Gaye Tuchman more gratitude than she will ever let me express. I blush when I think of how I sent what can only be generously described as “developmental” work to scholars par excellence. Bless all y’alls hearts. Emory’s Sociology department afforded me the safety that intellectual maturation requires. Kim, Neema and Pat in particular have consistently had my back. And let the record show that Dean Lisa Tedesco stood in the gap for me when it mattered most.
I like to think I would have figured this whole PhD thing out on my own. But I don’t dare imagine trying without my sister-friend Jade. Patricia likes to say that she stalked me. She is easily the most polite stalker in history. I got the better part of that deal. Thank you for your generosity and friendship, Tricia. My friends have forgiven me a thousand sins as I finished the dissertation: Natalie, Michael, Marisela, Erica, Ashley, Phil and Nancy. Kate and Deena, what would have befallen me had you not taken me in? Fortunately we will never know. I’ll see you at ASA every year that we’re not at Dollywood.
Along this journey I fell into relationships with millions of readers, thousands of friends who live in my computer, and dozens of collaborators. I #literally cannot name you all. I would especially like to thank the readers. You changed my life.
I have never enjoyed anything as much as I have enjoyed this journey. It has been hard. I have failed, a lot. I have even failed in public. I have learned more than I ever thought imaginable. And, I am humbled by how much more there is for me to learn. Everyone who took part of that journey – those that cheered me on and those that counted my missteps – thank you. If you don’t have haters then you never realize how few and inconsequential they are when compared to those who love you.
Vivian is and always has been my biggest fan, my most honest confidante and my most generous benefactor. Thank you, Ma. Finally and always this journey is dedicated to Gabrielle. She made me indestructible.