Department of Sociology

Faith Deckard

M.A., Sociology, University of Texas at Austin

Faith Deckard



Social Inequality; Debt; Criminal Justice Contact; Social Networks; Health Disparities



Faith Deckard is a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology and graduate trainee in the Population Research Center. She is interested in exploring how the reach of criminal justice contact shapes social life and health for individuals and their social support networks.

In her dissertation work, she hopes to use the process of meeting bail as a case study that integrates the expansion of the penal system with networks of support. 

Her MA thesis, " 'Labor vs. Worth Tax': Making Sense of Educational Debt in a Racialized Society" utilized a daily diary design to explore the link between mental health and stress incurred over thinking about the affordability of a college education. Her results document an increased day-to-day mental health burden for minority students, the disproportionate bearers of student debt. Additionally, she identifies a novel mediating pathway, the "labor vs. worth tax", that may help to explain the relationship between educational debt stress and mental health in minority populations. 

Faith is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fellow. At UT, she is a member of the LifeHD lab, a fellow of the Urban Ethnography Lab, and student co-coordinator for the working group Crime, Law, and Deviance. She received a M.A. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and her B.A. in Biology from Trinity University. 

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  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
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