Lance Keene

Lance Keene, Joint Dissertation Fellow Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture & Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality

Lance Keene is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Social Service Administration at The University of Chicago. He earned his M.S.W. with a concentration in Advocacy, Leadership, and Social Change from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and B.A. in Sociology from Michigan State University. His present scholarship and teaching focus on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, urban inequality and LGBTQ youth development, with broad emphasis on health equity.

His dissertation project, Young Black Gay Men’s Access to Queer Space and LGBTQ Services: A Chicago-Based Examination, uses qualitative methodology (e.g., life history interviews, ethnographic shadowing, and participant observation) to illuminate the structural dimensions of inequality shaping persistent patterns of social service fragmentation for LGBTQ populations living in diverse Chicago neighborhoods. He specifically investigates how such place-based fragmentation shapes the perceptions and experiences of service provision and use among black gay men ages 18 to 25.

In conceptualizing the current landscape of existing community-based organizations mobilized to address the urgent behavioral, health, and social service needs of Chicago’s most vulnerable LGBTQ communities, he draws equally on theories of marginalization, social exclusion, and resilience. His dissertation and research agenda aim to address critical gaps in social work and public health scholarship concerning facilitators and barriers to care for black LGBTQ youth and young adults who reside and socialize in complex and dynamic urban environments like Chicago.