About the Author

Photograph by: Joseph Philipson

I’m a Professor of Sociology at California State University, Long Beach where I’ve taught since 2006, after finishing my PhD in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. My research focuses on the sociology of popular culture. Specifically, I’m interested in the ways in which groups, especially communities of color, produce, engage with, and consume forms of pop culture — including music, film, food, and sports — to produce meaning, shape identity, form community, and create cross-cultural exchange.

I’m the author of Legions of Boom: Filipino American Mobile DJ Crews of the San Francisco Bay Area (Duke University Press, 2015) and as a scholar I’ve written on everything from Asian Americans rappers to the social geography of mobile food trucks to the retro-soul music community to the “Linsanity” phenomenon. I am currently the project curator for an upcoming (2025) exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum on the social history of Japanese American car culture in Southern California.

Outside of academia, I also write on arts and culture as a critic, journalist and podcaster; here’s my writing portfolio (going back 10 years) and my most recent podcast, currently on hiatus, is Heat Rocks, co-hosted alongside Morgan Rhodes. My work as a scholar is heavily informed by my background in journalism and vice versa; I want my scholarship to have the public-facing accessibility of my writing and I want my writing to reflect for the research depth and critical nuances of my scholarship.

I enjoy opportunities to speak to students and colleagues via virtual guest lectures as well as invitations to speak for campus events. If you’re interested in either, contact me here.