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Corey D. Fields
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellow 2011-12

Corey Fields' main interests are race, identity, and culture. Within those areas, his research is driven by an interest in the role of identity – at both the individual and collective level – in structuring social life across a range of contexts. His current research project, “Black Elephants in the Living Room: Race and the Unexpected Politics of African-American Republicans,” uses the experiences of African-American Republicans to explore the dynamic relationship between race and political behavior in contemporary U.S. politics. He is also working on research that sits at the intersection of gender and culture, including a study of knitting groups that examines how gender identity shape leisure practices. He uses a range of methods to analyze the role of identity in social life, including ethnography, interviews, and secondary analysis of survey data.

For his fellowship, Fields will explore how race mediates perceptions about why women are single. Black women’s single status is often pointed to as a symbol of broader social dysfunction. Demographers and sociologists have pointed to lack of marriageable black men, white men’s lack of interest in black women, and black women’s preferences for dating black men. Yet, media coverage of this issue often cites black women as the “problem,” pointing to things like their impossibly high standards or their overly domineering nature. Given these two divergent accounts of black women’s single status, this study asks how people account for women’s single status in practice, and using experimental methods attempts to see how those accountings vary by race.

Further information about Professor Fields is available from his website.