About Richard Ocejo

Richard E. Ocejo is professor of sociology at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He is the author of Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy (Princeton University Press, 2017), about the transformation of low-status occupations into cool, cultural taste-making jobs (cocktail bartenders, craft distillers, upscale men’s barbers, and whole animal butchers), and of Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City (Princeton University Press, 2014), about growth policies, nightlife, and conflict in gentrified neighborhoods. Ocejo’s work has appeared in such journals as the Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Urban Affairs, Sociological Perspectives, City & Community, and Poetics. He is also the editor of Urban Ethnography: Legacies and Challenges (Emerald, 2019) and Ethnography and the City: Readings on Doing Urban Fieldwork (Routledge, 2012), the Editor of City & Community, and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Work and Occupations, Journal of Urban Affairs, Metropolitics, and the Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography. Finally, he is the director of the MA program in International Migration Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Richard E. Ocejo is professor of sociology at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).

NBN Episodes hosted by Richard:

Sarah Mayorga, "Urban Specters: The Everyday Harms of Racial Capitalism" (UNC Press, 2023)

October 29, 2023

Urban Specters

Sarah Mayorga
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Racial capitalism, invisible but threaded throughout the world, shapes our lives. Focusing on the experiences of white, Black, and Latinx residents o…

Zachary Levenson, "Delivery As Dispossession: Land Occupation and Eviction in the Postapartheid City" (Oxford UP, 2022)

September 28, 2022

Delivery As Dispossession

Zachary Levenson
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

In Dispossession as Delivery: Land Occupation and Eviction in the Postapartheid City (Oxford University Press; 2022), Zachary Levenson explains why po…

Elizabeth Korver-Glenn, "Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21st Century Urban America" (Oxford UP, 2021)

December 15, 2021

Race Brokers

Elizabeth Korver-Glenn
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Elizabeth Korver-Glenn's book Race Brokers: Housing Markets and Segregation in 21st Century Urban America (Oxford UP, 2021) examines how housing marke…

Hillary Angelo, "How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

July 29, 2021

How Green Became Good

Hillary Angelo
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

As projects like Manhattan's High Line, Chicago's 606, China's eco-cities, and Ethiopia's tree-planting efforts show, cities around the world are devo…

Eva Rosen, "The Voucher Promise: 'Section 8' and the Fate of an American Neighborhood" (Princeton UP, 2020)

June 2, 2021

The Voucher Promise

Eva Rosen
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Eve Rosen's The Voucher Promise: 'Section 8' and the Fate of an American Neighborhood (Princeton UP, 2020) examines the Housing Voucher Choice Program…

S. Trinch and E. Snajdr, "What the Signs Say: Language, Gentrification, and Place-Making in Brooklyn" (Vanderbilt UP, 2020)

March 1, 2021

What the Signs Say

Shonna Trinch and Edward Snajdr
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Two stores sit side-by-side. One with signage overflowing with text: a full list of business services (income tax returns, notary public, a variety of…

Jan Doering, "Us versus Them: Race, Crime, and Gentrification in Chicago Neighborhoods" (Oxford UP, 2020)

July 28, 2020

Us versus Them

Jan Doering
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

With such high levels of residential segregation along racial lines in the United States, gentrifying neighborhoods present fascinating opportunities …

Patrick Inglis, "Narrow Fairways: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India" (Oxford UP, 2019)

February 27, 2020

Narrow Fairways

Patrick Inglis
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Processes of globalization—the liberalization of national markets, the rapid movement of goods, services, and labor across national borders—have had p…

Victoria Reyes, "Global Borderlands: Fantasy, Violence, and Empire in Subic Bay, Philippines" (Stanford UP, 2019)

December 4, 2019

Global Borderlands

Victoria Reyes
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Increasing levels of globalization have led to the proliferation of spaces of international exchange. In her new book, Global Borderlands: Fantasy, Vi…

Adam Reich and Peter Bearman, "Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart" (Columbia UP, 2018)

October 29, 2018

Working for Respect

Adam Reich and Peter Bearman
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

When we hear about the “future of work” today we tend to think about different forms of automation and artificial intelligence—technological innovatio…

Norah MacKendrick, "Better Safe Than Sorry: How Consumers Navigate Exposure to Everyday Toxics" (U California Press, 2018).

July 19, 2018

Better Safe Than Sorry

Norah MacKendrick
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Consumers today have a lot of choices. Whether in stores or online, people are inundated by an abundance of options for what to buy. At the same time,…

Gordon C. C. Douglas, "The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism" (Oxford UP, 2018)

June 20, 2018

The Help-Yourself City

Gordon C. C. Douglas
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

The built environment around us seems almost natural, as in beyond our control to alter or shape. Indeed, we have reached a point in history when citi…

Yasemin Besen-Cassino, "The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap" (Temple UP, 2017)

June 11, 2018

The Cost of Being a Girl

Yasemin Besen-Cassino
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

With the rise of the #MeToo movement following dozens of high-profile cases of sexual harassment and assault by professional men against women colleag…

Japonica Brown-Saracino, "How Places Make Us: Novel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities" (U Chicago Press, 2017)

April 10, 2018

How Places Make Us

Japonica Brown-Saracino
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Many of us move to a new place at some point in our lives for a variety of reasons: for a job, to be with a partner, to attend school, for a change of…

Jean Beaman, "Citizen Outsider: Children of North African Immigrants in France" (U California Press, 2017)

February 8, 2018

Citizen Outsider

Jean Beaman
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

What does it mean to be a citizen? Every country has its own legal codes that confer a set of rights on official members. But full citizenship is ofte…

Malcolm Harris, "Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials" (Little, Brown and Co, 2017)

January 11, 2018

Kids These Days

Malcolm Harris
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Every young generation inspires a host of comparisons---usually negative ones---with older generations. Whether preceding a criticism or punctuating o…

Steve Viscelli, "The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream" (U California Press, 2016)

November 13, 2017

The Big Rig

Steve Viscelli
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

There may not be a more ubiquitous presence on American highways than the truck. The images are iconic: eighteen-wheelers with muddy steel and chrome,…

Justin Gest, "The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality" (Oxford UP, 2016)

July 28, 2017

The New Minority

Justin Gest
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

In our era of economic instability, rising inequality, and widespread immigration, complaints about fairness and life chances are coming from an inter…

Victor Tan Chen, "Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy" (U California Press, 2015)

July 24, 2017

Cut Loose

Victor Tan Chen
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

We are nearly a decade removed from the start of the Great Recession, and many indicators show that the economy is doing relatively well. But during t…

Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch, "Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Family" (Columbia UP, 2017)

June 2, 2017

Down the Up Staircase

Bruce D. Haynes and Syma Solovitch
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Public scholarship takes many forms, from op-eds to activism to blog posts. In their new book, Down the Up Staircase: Three Generations of a Harlem Fa…

Christopher Mele, "Race and the Politics of Deception: The Making of an American City" (NYU Press, 2017)

May 27, 2017

Race and the Politics of Deception

Christopher Mele
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

Urban sociologists typically use a few grand narratives to explain the path of the American city through the twentieth century and into the twenty-fir…

Michaela DeSoucey, "Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food" (Princeton UP, 2016)

March 25, 2017

Contested Tastes

Michaela DeSoucey
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

A heritage food in France, and a high-priced obscurity in the United States. But in both countries, foie gras, the specially fattened liver of a duck …

Joan Maya Mazelis, "Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor" (NYU Press, 2017)

March 16, 2017

Surviving Poverty

Joan Maya Mazelis
Hosted by Richard Ocejo

A number of recent events (the Great Recession, Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign) have brought inequality and poverty into…