Mahesh Somashekhar

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Student on the Market

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the University of Washington Sociology Department. I received my PhD in Sociology at Princeton University in 2016. My core research agenda examines how retail growth and decline in urban and suburban areas affects patterns of social inequality and neighborhood change. My particular focus is on retail growth and decline in the context of immigrant entrepreneurship, gentrification, and health disparities. My research and teaching interests include urban studies, international migration, race and ethnicity, and spatial demography. For more information, please visit my website:

Selected Publications



Somashekhar, Mahesh. Forthcoming. “Has the Suburbanization of Ethnic Economies Created New Opportunities for Income Attainment?” Social Science Quarterly.

Yeung, King-To and Mahesh Somashekhar. 2016. “Sensing Agency and Resistance in Old Prisons: A Pragmatist Analysis of Institutional Control.” Theory, Culture, and Society. 33(3):79-101.

Somashekhar, Mahesh. 2014. “A Theoretical and Empirical Foundation for the Study of Non-Urban Ethnic Economies in the U.S.” Michigan Sociological Review 28:1-34.

Somashekhar, Mahesh. 2014. “Diversity through Homophily? The Paradox of How Increasing Similarities between Recruiters and Recruits Can Make an Organization More Diverse.” McGill Sociological Review 4:1-18.


Boris, Elizabeth T., Loren Renz, Mark A. Hager, Rachel Elias, and Mahesh Somashekhar. 2008. What Drives Foundation Expenses and Compensation? Washington D.C.: Urban Institute.


Somashekhar, Mahesh. “Neither Here nor There? How the New Geography of Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship Disadvantages African Americans.” Revised and
Resubmitted. Social Problems.
--Winner, AAG Business Geography Specialty Group Student Paper Competition, 2015

Somashekhar, Mahesh. “Ethnic Economies in the Age of Retail Chains: Comparing the Presence of Chain-Affiliated and Independently Owned Ethnic Restaurants in Ethnic Neighborhoods.” Under Review.