History from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a master’s degree in Sociology from UC Davis.
Phyllis’ research interests are focused at the intersection of political and cultural sociology, and include the
sociology of political parties, social movements, and social theory; they find expression in her work on the modern
Phyllis has recently completed a paper that examines legal cases (1998 to 2008) brought before the Turkish
Constitutional Court against political parties—including a 2008 case against the ruling Justice and Development
party (AKP). In the paper, she frames such proceedings as intrastate struggles over authority, and originates a
model based in Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of social fields to argue that the outcome of a contest between political
and judicial actors was key in the rise to dominance of the AKP. Phyllis presented her paper at the American
Sociological Association’s Comparative-Historical Sociology and Political Sociology Section Joint Mini-
Conference, “Capitalism, the Politics of Inequality, and Historical Change” in August, 2013.