I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and am currently a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation.
My new book Upsold investigates how people choose where to live and how much to spend in the housing market. Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic fieldwork Upsold shows how interactions between agents and buyers created buyers' preferences, including their price preferences, and that agents’ assessment of neighborhoods and buyers matter for the cultural meaning and demographic make up of different places. Upsold offers a new perspective on markets, revealing how intermediaries like real estate agents set the terms for our most important economic decisions.
Other research focuses on discrimination in economic transactions and how changes in the journalism labor market have affected journalism schools. A new project analyzes the online market for rental housing and another tracks households' residential mobility and financial security in the wake of Hurricane Harvey,
My work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Tow-Knight Center, and awards from the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, the Eastern Sociological Society, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Boeing, Geoff, Max Besbris, Ariela Schachter, and John Kuk. 2020. “Housing Search in the Age of Big Data: Smarter Cities or Same Old Blind Spots?” Housing Policy Debate
Besbris, Max and Caitlin Petre. 2020. "Professionalizing Contingency: How Journalism Schools Adapt to Deprofessionalization." Social Forces 98: 1524-47.
Besbris, Max, Jacob William Faber, and Patrick Sharkey. 2019. "Disentangling the Effects of Race and Place in Economic Transactions: Findings from an Online Field Experiment." City & Community 18: 529-55.