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 three other projects. My first project examines how processes of self and interpersonal relationships influence health in post-disaster communities. Answering Kathleen Tierney’s call to connect sociology of disasters with core sociological concerns, my goal is linking disaster research and theories of social psychological processes and community. I investigate how aspects of the post-disaster community (i.e., evacuation policies and residential environment) affect mental and physical health of Hurricane Katrina evacuees living in FEMA trailer parks.
In a second project, I study stress among racial minority men by examining the ways they experience masculinity and how their experiences are stressful. Specifically, I show how racial stereotypes and expectations of masculinity reinforce prejudice and discrimination against minority men who then perceive their experiences of masculinity as stressful. Next, I plan to study how stereotypes and gendered expectations affect sexual minority men and minority women.
In my third project, I examine how law shapes racial identity and experiences of citizenship. I analyze how enforcement of Chinese Exclusion laws more harshly penalized Chinese immigrant women by conceptualizing them as prostitutes and legal appendages of men.
2012. Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award. American Sociological Association, Social Psychology Section. “Stress and Physical Health Deterioration in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita”
2011. Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award. American Sociological Association, Race/Gender/Class Section. “Intersections of Discrimination in Immigration Law: Legal Conceptualizations of Chinese Women during the Chinese Exclusion Era”
2011. Social Science Diversity Initiative Graduate Student Travel and Research Grant.
Indiana University, Social Science Diversity Initiative. Amount funded: $2135.36 (full amount requested)
2007. Everett S. Lee Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award. Southern Demographic Association. “Litigation and Subterfuge: Chinese Immigrant Mobilization during the Chinese Exclusion Era”
Lu, Alexander and Y. Joel Wong. 2013. “Stressful Experiences of Masculinity among U.S.-born and Immigrant Asian American Men.” Gender and Society 27(3):344-70. 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.
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.
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)