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Rashawn Ray

Rashawn Ray

Rashawn Ray is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. His research interests are social psychology, race and ethnic relations, race, class, and gender, family, education, and research methodology. Ray was awarded two national fellowships— the National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and the National Institute of Mental Health, American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship— and several research grants that have allowed him to devote keen attention to developing a research agenda. Additionally, he has won paper competitions with the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Association of Black Sociologists. Ray intends to defend his dissertation, Class Identification in the United States, 1974-2008: Reassessing the Influence of Race, Gender, Age, and Family, in spring 2010.

Ray’s dissertation, for which he received a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and a Society for the Study of Social Problems Racial/Ethnic Minority Dissertation Scholarship, examines how various social statuses (Black/white, women/men, young/old, married/cohabitation/single) shape class identification, and in turn, how this relationship influences attitudes toward two contentious social policies—Affirmative Action and welfare. Ray’s research aims to highlight the interactive and multiplicative relationships among race, class, and gender and how these social structural factors establish and maintain intergroup and intragroup differences and similarities. As a social psychologist, he conceptualizes race, gender, and class as salient social, personal, and role identities that continue to be at the center of social life to shape life chances and social interactions. As a quantitative and qualitative methodologist, he is specifically attuned to the measurement and conceptualization of race, gender, class, and identities. In his research, Ray focuses on theoretical formulations and conceptual definitions of identities and attitudes, structural mechanisms that influence intergroup and intragroup conflict, and prejudice and discrimination on a micro-, meso-, and macro-level.

In addition to his dissertation, Ray’s substantive interest in race-class-gender, social psychology, education, and family are reflected in his research as the Principal Investigator of the High-Status Collegiate Sexuality Study, which consisted of interviews and ethnographic observations with 52 Black and white high-status fraternity men, and as a research assistant on the Intersections of Family, Work, and Health Study (Principal Investigator Pamela Braboy Jackson), which consisted of interviews and surveys with 46 Black, white, and Mexican-American families. From these two studies, he have written several papers including “Getting Off and Getting Intimate: How Normative Institutional Arrangements Structure Black and White Fraternity Men’s Approaches Toward Women” (Men and Masculinities 2009) and “The Professional Allowance: How Socioeconomic Status Characteristics Allow Some Men to Fulfill Family Role Expectations Better than Other Men” (International Journal of Sociology of the Family: Special Issue on Intersectionality 2008). In addition to his scholarly work, Ray is the founder of the Real Life Knowledge Academy Mentor Program and EngageDiversity.net. In his spare time, Ray enjoys swimming, weight lifting, and watching movies, and criminal shows including Matlock, CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Ray can also be reached at rajray@indiana.edu.