I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. I earned my B.A. and M.A. in sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana and Louisiana State University, respectively. My areas of interest are social psychology, race/ethnicity, emotions, and health/illness.
My dissertation addresses how personal tragedies transform into community tragedies. This process, I argue, is a function of how advocates define victimhood using emotional and organizational resources. I analyze the necessary and sufficient conditions under which institutionalizing a victim as a collectively recognized symbol constitute a community tragedy.
I am currently working on two other projects. My first research project analyzes how institutions such as law and gender shape constructions and performances of racial identity. For example, my research on Chinese immigrants during the Chinese Exclusion Era examines how enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion laws multiplied social disadvantage along race, gender, and class, thus conceptualizing and more harshly penalizing Chinese women as prostitutes and legal appendages of men.
My second research project examines how processes of self and interpersonal relationships influence health. For example, my research on evacuees of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita analyzes how aspects of the post-disaster community—the evacuation process and residential environment—affect mental and physical health outcomes.
Selected Publications and Awards
Lu, Alexander and Y. Joel Wong. 2013. “Stressful Experiences of Masculinity among U.S.-born and Immigrant Asian American Men.” Gender and Society 27(4):TBA. DOI:10.1177/0891243213479446
Lu, Alexander. 2012. “Perceived Risk, Criminal Victimization, and Community Integration: Mental Health in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.” In Disasters, Hazards, and Law. Sociology of Crime, Law, and Deviance, Vol. 17 edited by Mathieu Deflem. Bingley, UK: Emerald/JAI Press. DOI:10.1108/S1521-6136(2012)0000017014
Lu, Alexander. 2011. “Stress and Physical Health Deterioration in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.” Sociological Perspectives. 54(2):229-250. DOI:10.1525/sop.2011.54.2.229.
* Winner of the 2012 ASA Social Psychology section’s Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award
Lu, Alexander. “Intersections of Discrimination in Immigration Law: Legal Conceptualizations of Chinese Women during the Chinese Exclusion Era.” (Working paper)
* Winner of the 2011 ASA Race/Gender/Class section’s Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award
* Research grant to conduct fieldwork at the National Archives in Seattle from Indiana University’s Social Science Diversity Initiative.
Lee, Jennifer C. and Alexander Lu. 2011. “Asian Americans.” In Oxford Bibliographies Online: Sociology, edited by Jeff Manza. New York: Oxford University Press, July 27. DOI:10.1093/OBO/9780199756384-0004.
Lu, Alexander. 2010. “Litigation and Subterfuge: Chinese Immigrant Mobilization during the Chinese Exclusion Era.” Sociological Spectrum 30(4):403-32. DOI:10.1080/02732171003641024.
* Winner of the 2007 Southern Demographic Association’s Everett S. Lee Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award
Lu, Alexander and Joachim Singelmann. 2009. “Location Matters?: A Comparison of Placement Conditions for Hurricane Evacuees in Houston and Louisiana.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 27(3):191-217. (Lead Article)