Past Event

Deciding What Counts as Discrimination

September 15, 2022
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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509 Knox Hall

The Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality Presents Lauren Valentino, Associate Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University, "Deciding What Counts as Discrimination: Cultural Logics of Racism, Sexism, and Classism in the United States

Abstract: Racial, gender, and class-based discrimination negatively impact life chances for many Americans. Furthermore, beliefs about the prevalence and nature of racism, sexism, and classism in the U.S. underpin many important policy preferences and intergroup attitudes. Yet measuring experiences with and beliefs about discrimination has proven difficult for social scientists. This multi-method study draws on concepts and techniques from cultural sociology to investigate the cultural meanings Americans attribute to racism, sexism, and classism using novel interview and experimental data. Findings demonstrate that Americans have diverging beliefs about what constitutes discrimination, that these beliefs are patterned along demographic lines, and that they are closely tied to support for discrimination-related policies and views.

Bio: Lauren Valentino is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The Ohio State University where she conducts research on how Americans understand and make sense of contemporary inequality. Her work seeks to develop and apply theories and methods from culture and cognition to answer key questions in the sociology of stratification. Her research has been published in American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Poetics, and Social Problems, among other outlets, and has been funded by the Russell Sage Foundation as well as Ohio State’s Institute for Population Research, the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity, and the Department of Sociology Seed Grant program. She earned a PhD in Sociology from Duke University and completed postdoctoral training at Duke’s Kenan Institute for Ethics before joining Ohio State in 2020.