This seminar focuses on key work and highlights emerging research in the area of education and social inequality.  We will seek to understand the extent to which schools, families, or broader social forces are to blame for educational inequality and whether and under what conditions specific educational policies reduce, or increase, inequality.

Thad Domina, UNC-CH, Education
Jane Cooley Fruehwirth, UNC-CH, Economics
Steven Hemelt, UNC-CH, Public Policy
Douglas Lee Lauen, UNC-CH, Public Policy
Karolyn Tyson, UNC-CH, Sociology


angel HArrisAngel Harris, Duke University

January 19, 3:00-4:30pm


Angel Harris is Professor of Sociology and Director of the program for Research on Education and Development of Youth (REDY) at Duke University.  His research interests include social inequality, policy, and education.  His work focuses on the social psychological determinants of the racial achievement gap. Specifically, he examine the factors that contribute to differences in academic investment among African Americans, Latino/as, Asian Americans, and Whites. Harris also studies the impact that adolescents’ perceptions of opportunities for upward socio-economic mobility have for their academic investment, and the long-term effects of youths’ occupational aspirations both within the United States and Europe.


Maliq Matthew, University of Cincinnati

We Count What Matters: A Classroom Activity’s Insight into Student Views on Meritocracy in College Admissions

Thursday, February 16, 3:00-4:30pm

Abernethy Hall, 102

MaliqDr. Ervin (Maliq) Matthew is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati.  He was born and raised in Bronx, New York, earned his B.A. in sociology and political science from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York, and earned his M.A. and PhD from The Ohio State University. His research interests are race, social stratification, education, and urban inequality.


Stefanie DeLuca, Johns Hopkins

Why Wait Years To Become Something? Low-income African American Youth and the Costly Career Search in For-profit Trade Schools

Thursday, March 2, 3:00-4:30

Abernethy Hall 102

DeLucaStefanie DeLuca is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Johns Hopkins University. She earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University, and bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Chicago. Her research uses sociological perspectives to inform education and housing policy. She has conducted mixed-methods studies that incorporate qualitative research into experimental or quasi-experimental designs. Some of her work focuses on the long-term effects of programs to help public housing residents relocate to safer neighborhoods and better schools through housing vouchers. Stefanie has just finished a book about the children of MTO, as they transition to adulthood in Baltimore Coming of Age in the Other America (with Susan Clampet-Lundquist and Kathryn Edin).

She is working on a mixed methods study to examine the effects of this housing program on long-term neighborhood and school quality, as well as children’s educational outcomes. She contributes regularly to national and local media, including the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Education Week, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Governing and National Public Radio.  Stefanie’s work has been published in academic journals such as Social Forces, Sociology of Education, Journal of Public Policy Analysis and Management, Annual Review of Sociology, City and Community, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Teachers College Record, Social Science Research, Housing Policy Debate, American Educational Research Journal and Demography.

If you are interested in meeting with Stefanie, please contact Megan Odum,

March 30 – Sarah Komisarow, Duke University

April 20 – Jessica Calarco, Indiana University