Cornell University

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Racial Mobility: The Dynamics of Race and Inequality in the U.S.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Uris Hall, 302

Aliya Saperstein (Sociology, Stanford University) 

Saperstein will introduce a "racial mobility" perspective that brings together constructivist theories of race and the tools of sociological studies of social mobility to make the case for a more dynamic understanding of the relationship between race and inequality. In particular, she argues that a person’s race should be conceptualized more like their occupational or marital status than their year or place of birth. Evidence for this perspective is presented from different historical periods, across multiple outcomes and datasets, and is consistent with results from controlled experiments. By revisiting canonical assumptions – from the relationship between reliability and validity in survey measurement to the distinction between ascription and achievement in studies of stratification – a racial mobility perspective also points the way toward improvements in data collection and research practice.

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Sociology, Center for the Study of Inequality, Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences


cascal, isscal, mical


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Clara Elpi

Contact Phone

607 254 8674


Aliya Saperstein

Speaker Affiliation

Sociology, Stanford University

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