Dr. Mazelis is an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, and an affiliated scholar at Rutgers-Camden’s Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE). She received her B.A. from Binghamton University of the State University of New York and her M.A. and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Mazelis teaches Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Theory, Social Stratification, and Urban Sociology. She was in the inaugural cohort of Civic Engagement Faculty Fellows and received a Chancellor’s Award for Academic Civic Engagement in 2012.


Dr. Mazelis specializes in the study of urban poverty and social ties, using qualitative interview methods to explore the meaning and understanding people have of their own situations. She is currently writing a book, Our Strength Is in Our Unity: Sustainable Ties Among the Poor, based on her research in Philadelphia. She spoke about her research at the Chancellor’s Faculty Research Day on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

Read more about her research here.

She has published on the views of welfare-reliant women (with coauthors Ellen K. Scott, Kathryn Edin, and Andrew S. London), in the volume For Better and For Worse (Russell Sage, 2001). She also co-wrote with the Census Bureau’s Laryssa Mykyta an article that appeared in Journal of Marriage and Family on the role of marital and relationship status in financial support from kin to new parents. Routledge’s Handbook on Poverty in the United States, due out in 2014, includes three contributions by Mazelis: one on social ties among the poor; one, coauthored with Rutgers colleague, Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement Andrew Seligsohn, on the consequences of deindustrialization and neoliberalism in Camden, New Jersey, the poorest city in America; and one, coauthored with former student Brendan Gaughan, on poverty stigma and Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. Most recently she authored an article on reciprocity among the poor (forthcoming, Journal of Poverty).


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