Jasmin Sandelson is a doctoral student in the department of sociology at Harvard University. Originally from London, England, she earned a B.A in Politics, Psychology, and Sociology from the University of Cambridge. Her interests include poverty and inequality, cultural sociology, social media, gender and sexuality, and youth and adolescence. 


Blending urban and cultural sociology, Jasmin is an ethnographer studying social inequality and the transition to adulthood. 

With a focus on peer dynamics among marginalized young women and sexual and gender minority youth, she writes primarily on two broad themes: first, she examines the formation and effect of social networks among young people. She is particularly interested in how adolescents manage to meet each other’s needs in the absence of robust state, family, or institutional support. Second, she considers how new forms of communication and interaction shape the ways young people form bonds and make sense of their lives.

Her book, forthcoming with Princeton University Press, reveals how peer support is an overlooked but important factor promoting well-being among low-income young people. Drawing on her dissertation fieldwork conducted over four years with teenaged girls in Boston-area housing projects, she shows how friends helped each other cope, aspire, and achieve, and worked together to mitigate some of poverty’s hardships. Her master’s paper, drawn from the same research, won the Graduate Student Paper Award from the Society for Social Problems’ Youth, Aging, and the Life Course Section

Jasmin’s upcoming research uses mixed qualitative methods to investigate unaccompanied homeless LGBTQ+ youth in New York City. 

Previously, her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Education, the Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Center for American Political Studies.

Previous Degrees:
B.A. (Hons), Politics, Psychology, and Sociology, University of Cambridge (First Class with Distinction)
A.M., Sociology, Harvard University (2015)