Jennifer Darrah-Okike

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Chapter Member: Hawaii SSN

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About Jennifer

Darrah’s research relates to housing policy, land-use policy, and political participation with focus on the impacts of voter identification requirements. She has studied how local communities in Hawaiʻi use laws and regulations to manage urbanization and preserve natural and cultural resources. She also studies housing policy and residential mobility to understand how policy can mitigate racial segregation and neighborhood disparities. New research explores policy responses to homelessness in Hawaiʻi. Finally, she studies political participation and the impacts of policies such as voter ID requirements with focus on impacts to racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants.   

In the News

Guest on Hawai'i Public Radio, May 2015.
Research discussed by Emily Badger, in "What Happens When the Government Tries to Help Poor People Move to Better Neighborhoods?," The Washington Post, March 24, 2014.
Research discussed by Jill Rosen, in "Leaving Poor Neighborhoods Can Change a Family's Perspective, Study Suggests," The Hub, March 21, 2014.


"The Suppressive Impacts of Voter Identification Requirements" (with Nathalie Rita). Sociological Perspectives (2020).

Examines the impact of voter identification laws on electoral participation in the US from 2000-2016, using large-scale social survey data. Shows that voter ID laws have a negative impact on all racial and ethnic groups, especially Latinos.

"Contesting the Right to the City Under Scarcity: The Case of Micronesians in Hawaiʻi’s Public Housing.” Housing and Society" (with Nathalie Rita, Rachel Engel, and Philip Garboden). Housing and Society 47, no. 3 (2020): 165-188 .

Focuses on how residents of public housing in Hawaii view immigrants from Micronesia, a geographic region of Oceania. Draws on in-depth interviews with an ethnically diverse sample of public housing residents.  Shows how residents stigmatize Micronesian community members, especially as they were viewed as gaining unfair access to a limited supply of affordable housing units.

"'It Was Like I Lost Everything”: The Harmful Impacts of Homeless-Targeted Policies" (with Susan Nakaoka, Sarah Soakai, Tai Dunson-Strane, and Karen Umemoto). Housing Policy Debate (2018).

Finds that policies prohibiting sitting, lying, sleeping, and storing property in public places harm homeless households by: creating feelings of dehumanization, confiscation of property, and creating increased anxiety and fear.