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Kristen Clayton

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.

I am a doctoral candidate in the University of Georgia Department of Sociology. I received my B.A. from Emory University in 2011 and my M.A. in Sociology from The University of Georgia in 2014. I have also completed the requirements for the University of Georgia Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies.

My research explores how institutional context shapes racial and gender identity and inequality.  Specifically, my research is at the intersections of sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology of gender, sociology of higher education, and social psychology. My dissertation employs a longitudinal, qualitative design to compare black-white biracial students’ processes of identity development across historically white and historically black institutions of higher education. This work reveals how students’ self-understandings and processes of identity management relate to systemic racism and colorism within different organizational contexts. By interviewing college students at the beginning and end of their undergraduate careers, the longitudinal design allows me to examine how biracial students’ identity development is related to the college experience as well as changes in the broader socio-political climate (e.g. the change from the Obama to Trump administration). I have four papers in progress based on this research (one paper forthcoming in Intersected Campuses, one invited to be revised and resubmitted to the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and two fully drafted that will be submitted by October 2017).

I have also collaborated on research exploring how men and women college students negotiate the moral boundaries of unwanted sexual contact in bars (Tinkler, Becker, and Clayton 2017 in Law and Social Inquiry). In addition, I have collected data and am currently drafting manuscripts for a co-authored project (with Joseph Hermanowicz) exploring how race and gender affect academic careers in sociology.

My scholarship has been recognized and awarded with the Southern Regional Education Board Dissertation Award, the University of Georgia Dean’s Award, and the Phelps-Stokes Graduate Fellowship, among other awards.

I have taught courses on race within both predominantly white and historically black institutions. I taught African American Society and American Race and Ethnicity at The University of Georgia. Additionally, I taught American Race and Ethnicity at Clark Atlanta University. I am also prepared to teach a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses related to qualitative methods, social psychology, and stratification. 

Courses Regularly Taught:
Events featuring Kristen Clayton
MLC 213