B.A. in Sociology, Emmanuel College
M.P.H. in International Health & Development, Tulane University
Originally from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Cate received her B.A. in Sociology from Emmanuel College in 2005. Over the next few years she worked as an HIV and reproductive health counselor in Massachusetts and Nairobi, Kenya. It was her work in Kenya that drew her to the Masters in Public Health program at Tulane University, from which she received her MPH in 2011, focusing on community development projects in the Nairobi slums. Upon completing her MPH she entered into Sociology branch of the City, Culture and Community doctoral program at Tulane University.
Over the past four years, she has been investigating the growth of the gourmet food truck industry in New Orleans, as a lens to interpret shifting demographic and physical characteristics of the city. This interest serves as the cornerstone of her dissertation, "Cart-ography: Analyzing Pop-up Urbanism Through A Critical Assessment of Gourmet Food Truck Vending." Her dissertation is a case study of one major tactic in pop-up urban development in a post-disaster context of the American South. She uses a multi-method approach combining ethnographic methods (interviewing and participant observation), content analysis (including blogs, news reports, and city council meeting minutes) and quantitative analysis (among others, food truck customer surveys, food truck Twitter data, and national databases such as the U.S. Census, the Data Center, and the American Community Survey). This study builds on the emerging literature in two ways: it examines the processes and outcomes of pop-up and tactical urbanism strategies and, more specifically, it analyzes the impacts of mobile entrepreneurship on the spatial development of urban spaces. This dissertation interrogates and problematizes the processes of community-based urban design and development. The findings demonstrate the relationships between consumption and place-making, the processes through which neighborhoods transform, and the ways that place, race, and class intersect in urban settings.
Urban Sociology; Social Stratification; Sociology of Race and Ethnicity; Urban Development and State Policies; Sociology of Culture; Food Studies
Gentrification in Shrinking Cities; Space and Place: Power and Protest in the Making of Urban Space
Cart-Ography: Analyzing Pop-up Urbanism Through A Critical Assessment of Gourmet Food Truck Vending
- Kato, Yuki and Cate Irvin. 2013. "Flow of Food, People and Information across the City." Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies. 3(2): 45-56.
- "Hybridized Authenticity: Reconstructing Authenticity in the Gourmet Food Truck Scene." Under review at Symbolic Interaction.
- "'Opportunity Lots' for Urban Cultivation: Accessibility of Vacant Lots for Gardens and Farms in Post-Katrina New Orleans." With Yuki Kato and Scarlett Andrews. Revised and resubmit at Urban Affairs Review.