top of page

Kimya A. I. Loder

Services We Provide

Service Title

This is your Service description. Use this space to describe what the service entails, benefits for users and any other important information.

Service Title

This is your Service description. Use this space to describe what the service entails, benefits for users and any other important information.

Service Title

This is your Service description. Use this space to describe what the service entails, benefits for users and any other important information.


I am a sociologist and ethnographer who studies how the daily practices we engage in highlight the occurrence of inequality, resistance, and social change in our society. 

In all of my work, I am interested in understanding the resistance strategies adopted by groups that have been historically excluded from full participation in U.S. democratic processes. Currently, my work centers the organizing efforts of Black transgender led organizations in the U.S. South and the strategies that they adopt to survive in volatile, contentious political environments. I examine how race and gender based inequality are reproduced as these organizations compete with other local organizations for status, power, and resources. 


Loder, Kimya and Forrest Stuart. 2023. "Displacement frames: How residents perceive,

explain and respond to un-homing in Black San Fransisco." Urban Studies, 60 (6), 1013-1030.

  • How do organizations developed by individuals from multiply marginalized groups achieve their goals in hostile, precarious socio-political environments? To respond to this question my dissertation work draws upon two years of ethnographic data including oral history interviews with 30 black transgender women and field notes from over 300 hours of participant observation attending support groups, community events, meetings, and conferences held by the organization at the center of my study.

    This project  links models of organizational behavior to theories of inequality offered by feminist and race scholars to reveal how inequality can emerge not only from within, but also across and between community organizations, creating advantages for some while disadvantaging others. I take this a step further by considering how the resistance strategies that organizations adopt might radically transform their organizational environments by facilitating the redistribution of resources in ways that create new opportunities for their constituents.

    1 | Liminal Spaces as Refuge and Resistance in the Polarized U.S. South

    In my first dissertation paper currently in preparation for an edited volume on political polarization, I argue that where contentious politics have ruptured the ties that Black trans women have to various types of community institutions and limited their access to social and material resources, direct service non-profit organizations fill this gap by providing support to this group. In socio-politically precarious environments, these organizations function as liminal spaces, or spaces "in-between" where life as usual is disrupted and new types of community building and political engagement are produced. 

    2 | Leveraging Organizational Identity as a Tool for Institutional Change

    In another paper currently under review, I argue that in response to institutional pressures to conform the organization at the center of this ethnographic project deploys a distinctive organizational identity to achieve three key goals: (1) differentiate them from other organizations within their organizational field (2) mobilize group identity toward a common goal and (3) guide their decision-making processes to minimize value-based contradictions. My findings reveal that the strategic decisions that the organization has made regarding its identity and structure have contributed to its ability to thrive within a racialized, gendered organizational field of nonprofit organizations.

    3 | Leadership Networks and Coalition Building

    Drawing upon a case study of an inter-organizational leadership program comprised of individuals representing over 20 Black transgender-led initiatives across the country, I find that intergenerational organizational networks (more established organizations to lesser established organizations) are critical to building trust and rapport. Organizers within the network consistently recounted experiencing exploitation within the broader non-profit sector that inhibited their ability to build trust and share information through strong network collaborations. My findings suggest that the intergenerational ties developed in the leadership program between established Black transgender organizers and emerging organizers allows individuals within the group to build rapport, transfer resources, and share institutional knowledge more effectively. 

  • This project examines the civic and political engagement of low-income Black residents in the historic Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Fransisco. The civic and political participation trends of low-income Black Americans have long been a puzzle for scholars, some arguing that engagement has increased while others citing political “apathy” among this group as a continuous struggle. To better understand the civic attitudes of this group, I draw upon 12 months of ethnographic observations including 32 interviews of long-time Black residents in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point neighborhood, and field notes from time spent at local community centers, community meetings, and in public spaces with residents.

    1| Displacement frames: How residents perceive, explain, and respond to un-homing in San Fransisco,

    In one article published in Urban Studies with Forrest Stuart we examine how residents perceive displacement and how this perception shapes their approach to civic engagement. We find that residents makes sense of displacement in distinctively different ways, which we categorize as "displacing the problem," "displacement by design," and "displacement as predation." Furthermore, we argue that these frames not only encompass how residents understand displacement but also how they take action to address these neighborhood changes.

    2 | Civic Narratives: Analyzing Variation in the Civic Participation of Black Residents in San Fransisco

    In this article currently under review, I examine the​ civic attitudes and behaviors of low-income Black residents in the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. I find that despite trends in the study of civic and political participation which portray this group as politically apathetic, residents offered dynamic accounts of how their engagement had changed over the course of their lives as a result of a series of openings/constraints. I refer to these accounts as civic narratives whereby residents describe and opening/constraint followed by a subsequent change in the form and extent of their civic participation. This study reveals that although previous studies have viewed participation as fixed, individuals political attitudes and behaviors are constantly in flux , responding to external factors that may be overlooked by political sociologists.

bottom of page