Urban Reads: Rachel T. Kimbro

Feb 17, 2022
12:15pm - 1:30pm

Sociologist Rachel T. Kimbro discusses her new book, “In Too Deep: Class and Mothering in a Flooded Community.”

"In Too Deep" explores family and community resiliency in the wake of repeated flood disasters. Learn more and order a copy of the book here

About "In Too Deep"

In a small Texas neighborhood, an affluent group of mothers has been repeatedly rocked by catastrophic flooding—the 2015 Memorial Day flood, the 2016 Tax Day flood, and sixteen months later, Hurricane Harvey. Yet even after these disrupting events, almost all mothers in this neighborhood still believe there is only one place for them to live: Bayou Oaks.

“In Too Deep” is a sociological exploration of what happens when climate change threatens the carefully curated family life of upper-middle-class mothers. Through in-depth interviews with thirty-six Bayou Oaks mothers whose homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey, Rachel T. Kimbro reveals why these mothers continued to stay in a place that was becoming more and more unstable. Rather than retreating, the mothers dug in and sustained the community they have chosen and nurtured, trying to keep social, emotional, and economic instability at bay. “In Too Deep” provides a glimpse into how class and place intersect in an unstable physical environment and underlines the price families pay for securing their futures.

About Rachel T. Kimbro

Rachel Tolbert Kimbro (Ph.D., 2005, Princeton University) is the Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Rice University and Professor of Sociology. Dr. Kimbro earned her M.A. in Sociology at Princeton and her B.A. in Sociology and Policy Studies at Rice. Following her doctoral work at Princeton, Dr. Kimbro was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received interdisciplinary training in population health. Dr. Kimbro's research focuses on family and neighborhood influences on child health and wellbeing. Current work examines family and neighborhood influences on food insecurity and children's sleep, and she recently published a book on Hurricane Harvey's impact on mothers and children. She is a Founding Faculty Member at Texas Children's Hospital's Center for Child Health Policy and Advocacy, a Baker Institute Scholar, and adjunct faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.

About Urban Reads

The Kinder Institute's Urban Reads series showcases recently published works on pressing urban issues by local and national authors.

This program is eligible for 1.25 CM credits from the American Planning Association.

‘In Too Deep’ explores intersection of mothering, class, community—and disastrous, repetitive flooding in Houston
EXCERPTS :  Feb. 7, 2022

A new book, “In Too Deep” tells the story of Bayou Oaks, and its repetitive flooding, from the perspective of 36 mothers who are raising young children there. It follows the families across the course of more than a year, starting right after Hurricane Harvey flooded their homes, and tracking them across the recovery year and beyond as they work to restore their community for the third time in three years. 

Mailing Address

6100 Main St. MS-208
Houston, TX 77005-1892


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Physical Address

Rice University
Kraft Hall
6100 Main Street, Suite 305
Houston, TX 77005-1892

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