Darrah-Okike

Jennifer Darrah-Okike

Affiliations
Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Areas of Expertise:
  • Housing
  • Immigration
  • Race & Ethnicity

Connect with Jennifer

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.   

Podcast

Publications

"'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.

"The Suppressive Effects of Voter ID Requirements on Naturalization and Political Participation," (with John R. Logan and Sookhee Oh), Report of the American Communities Project, Brown University, 2008.

Finds that U.S. states that require voters to present identification before casting ballots have lower levels of political participation. Also shows that voter I.D. policies discourage legal immigrants from becoming citizens, particularly for blacks and Hispanics, reducing odds of naturalization by over 15 percent.

"Disrupting the Growth Machine: Evidence from Hawaiʻi" Urban Affairs Review (2017).

Reveals how local communities as well as advocates for natural resources and native Hawaiian rights leverage land-use regulations in Hawai‘i to contest luxury residential development. 

"Tangible Evidence, Trust and Power: Public Perceptions of Community Environmental Health Studies" (with Madeleine Scammell, Laura Senier, Phil Brown, and Susan Santos). Social Science and Medicine 68, no. 1 (2009): 143-153.

Presents findings from three focus groups conducted in communities north of Boston that have been the subject of two different environmental health studies. 

"The Political Impact of the New Hispanic Second Generation" (with Sookhee Oh and John R. Logan). Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 35, no. 7 (2009): 1201-1223.

Shows that the effect of the rapid growth of the Hispanic population in the United States is diminished by several factors, and it is a challenge for public policy to reduce the lag between population growth and political representation.

"The Political and Community Context of Immigrant Naturalisation in the United States." (with John R. Logan and Sookhee Oh). Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38, no. 4 (2012): 535-554.

Uses microdata from Census 2000 in conjunction with other measures to examine aspects of the community and policy context that influence the choices made by individuals. The results confirm previous research on the effects of individual-level characteristics on attaining citizenship.

"The Impact of Race and Ethnicity, Immigration, and Political Context on Participation in American Electoral Politics" (with John R. Logan and Sookhee Oh). Social Forces 90, no. 3 (2012): 1993-102.

Uses national survey data in federal election years during 1996-2004 to examine voter registration and voting. Shows that racial/ethnic disparities in socio-economic resources and rootedness in the community do not explain overall group differences in electoral participation.

"‘It Changed My Whole Perspective’: How Escaping Inner-City Poverty Shapes Neighborhood and Housing Choice" (with Stefanie DeLuca). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 33, no. 2 (2014): 350–384.

Uses data from fieldwork with 110 participants in the Baltimore Mobility Program to demonstrate how residential preferences can shift over time as a function of living in higher opportunity neighborhoods. 

In the News

Guest to discuss Town Square: Panel on Planning, Community Involvement, and Oahu's Future on Hawai'i Public Radio, Jennifer Darrah-Okike, May 2015.
Jennifer Darrah-Okike's research on a housing voucher program in Baltimore discussed in Emily Badger. Jennifer Darrah-Okike (with Stefanie DeLuca), "What Happens When the Government Tries to Help Poor People Move to Better Neighborhoods?," The Washington Post, March 24, 2014.
Jennifer Darrah-Okike's research on the Baltimore Mobility Program discussed in Jill Rosen. Jennifer Darrah-Okike (with Stefanie DeLuca), "Leaving Poor Neighborhoods Can Change a Family's Perspective, Study Suggests," The Hub, March 21, 2014.