Christine Jang-Trettien

Christine Jang-Trettien is an Assistant Professor at CUNY-Queens College. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. She is an urban and economic sociologist with empirical interests in race and racism, health, residential mobility, real estate speculation, financialization, and spatial inequality. She has published papers in journals including Social Forces, Social Problems, City & Community, Social Service Review, and Journal of Urban Affairs.    

Christine’s book, Speculating Inequality (under contract at Oxford University Press), looks at the evolution of expansive, unregulated housing markets in Black neighborhoods in Baltimore from 1980 to 2015. Racial segregation, coupled with the interacting policies of financial and government institutions, steered capital investments into mostly white neighborhoods. This resulted in the creation of multiple markets that were bifurcated by race. This book looks at money that circulates outside of financial institutions and is exchanged within what are often dismissed as “non-markets.” It also looks at investor practices that emerge in Black neighborhoods in the absence of institutionalized credit. This project captures the cumulative impact of racial discrimination on neighborhoods, fleshing out how markets are structured geographically and how this affects market participation by race. It also examines how existing urban structures interact with macro-trends such as mass-participatory financialization and place speculation.

She is also currently working on a project with Sarah Gold that examines federal place-based initiatives from 1990 to 2015, looking at whether investments have made a difference in housing insecurity and material hardship. She previously managed a qualitative project that evaluated the impact of different place-based initiatives in Baltimore, conducting over 400 interviews with various stakeholders in the city. She was part of a study that evaluated a housing mobility program in Seattle and King County, Washington. In recent years, she has conducted interviews in South Texas and Eastern Kentucky as part of the Understanding Communities of Deep Disadvantage project. 

Christine’s work has been funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Office of the President, Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin, and the Princeton Alliance for Collaborative Research and Innovation. Her papers have received awards from the Urban Affairs Association and the American Sociological Association’s Community and Urban Sociology Section. She received her Ph.D from Johns Hopkins University.

Curriculum Vitae

(Update: May 2024) 



Christine Jang-Trettien
Assistant Professor, CUNY Queens College 
Visiting Scholar, Princeton University