Rachel Sherman is Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research. She studies labor, social class, and production and consumption in the service economy.
RACHEL SHERMAN, a qualitative sociologist who studies labor, social class, and production and consumption in the service economy, is Associate Professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College. She is the author of Class Acts: Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels (California, 2007), an ethnographic study of the management of inequality in luxury hotels. She has also written on the U.S. labor movement, the personal concierge industry, and the interactive art of Tino Sehgal.
As a GIDEST Faculty Fellow, Rachel will be working on a book titled The Anxiety of Affluence. This project uses in-depth interviews with affluent and wealthy New Yorkers to explore their lifestyle decision-making, especially around home purchase and renovation, which brings together financial, familial, and aesthetic considerations and situates lifestyle choices in material spaces. She has analyzed the ways in which these decisions and the labor associated with them are gendered, with women often at center stage in the consumption arena. The book addresses not only specific consumption decisions but the attendant struggles these interviewees describe—with themselves and with others—over money, privilege, and entitlement in a city marked by radical inequality.