• Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Ph.D.
  • Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor, Department Chair
  • LCS
  • Sociology
  • Office: A-261, Lucy Stone Hall, Livingston Campus
  • Phone: 848-445-4229


PhD. 2005, University of Michigan, Public Policy & Sociology
M.U.P. 2003, University of Michigan, Urban Planning
M.A. 1997, Stanford University, Sociology
B.A. 1995, Harvard University, Sociology, cum laude

Research Interests

Housing Policy & Design, Urban Planning, Race & Ethnicity, Space & Place, Qualitative & Quantitative Methods, Crime & Social Control, Social Policy, Latin America & Caribbean, African Diaspora

Biographical Information

Professor Dinzey-Flores is an Associate Professor in Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of Sociology. Her research focuses on understanding how urban space mediates community life and race, class, and social inequality. She uses an interdisciplinary lens (sociology, urban planning, public policy), mixed-method approaches, and often a comparative Caribbean-U.S. framework, to investigate the processes that cement the built environment and unequally distribute power. She is particularly interested in housing and urban residential (housing and neighborhood) design: the underlying logics and policies that drive design, how design is interpreted, used, and experienced, and the consequences for inequality among communities and residents of cities. Her book, Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City (University Of Pennsylvania Press: 2013), winner of the 2014 Robert E. Park Award of the Community and Urban Sociology Section (CUSS) of the American Sociological Association and an Honorable Mention of the 2014 Frank Bonilla Book Award of the Puerto Rican Studies Association, examines race and class inequality as they are recreated, contained, and negotiated through urban policy, the physical built environment, and community gates in private and public housing. Dinzey-Flores is currently working on two projects: the first is a mixed-method examination of how race is articulated in residential real estate practices in demographically changing neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY; the second, looks at the transatlantic circulation of housing planning and design ideals in the middle of the 20th Century. She is also collaborating on a mobile data project seeking to understand racial segregation as it occurs in motion and a mixed-media project on construction in the Caribbean.


Courses Regularly Taught

  • Caribbean Urbanism
  • Caribbean Societies



Bookdinzey locked

  • Locked In, Locked Out: Gated Communities in a Puerto Rican City (University of Pennsylvania Press: 2013)



  • 2012. “Where Rights Begin and End: Community and Democracy behind Puerto Rico’s Gated Communities” Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. 33 (2): 198–211.
  • 2012. “Islands of Prestige, Gated Ghettos, and Urban-less Lifestyles in Puerto Rico,” Latin American Perspectives.
  • 2011. “Criminalizing Communities of Poor, Dark Women in the Caribbean: The Fight against Crime through Puerto Rico’s Public Housing”. Crime Prevention and Community Safety. 13(1): 53–73
  • 2008. “De la Disco al Caserío: Urban Spatial Aesthetics and Policy to the Beat of Reggaetón.” Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. 20(2): 35-69.
  • 2007. “Temporary Housing, Permanent Communities: Public Housing Policy and Design in Puerto Rico.” Journal of Urban History. 33(3) 467-492


Book Chapters

  • 2010. "Spatio-Temporal Rhythms: The Ecology of Housing & Work in Elena Padilla.” In Rúa, Mérida (Ed.) Latino Urban Ethnography and the Work of Elena Padilla. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • 2007. “Cache vs. Cas[h]eríos: Puerto Rican Neighborhoods under Siege.” In Rivke Jaffe (Ed.) The Caribbean City. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers.



  • 2008. “Latinos as Protagonists in American Urban History and Planning Practice.” Journal of Urban History. 34(4): 731-744.