We welcome Vanessa Gonlin to the Department of Sociology. She will join us in August.
Vanessa Gonlin is currently finishing her PhD in Sociology at Texas A&M University, with certificates in Advanced Research Methods, Africana Studies, and Latino/a and Mexican American Studies. Broadly, her research and teaching areas of expertise include race and ethnicity, social identities, intimate and platonic relationships, and social demography. She is particularly interested in bi/multiracials, Black Americans and the African diaspora, Latinxs, and interracial relationships. Her research began with the question: What makes people feel part of a racial community? She investigates this question in terms of geographic space, relationship “preferences” and commitments, discrimination, colorism, and social inequities. Her interdisciplinary work may be found in Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, Sociological Perspectives, and Information, Communication & Society.
In one project, Gonlin is exploring new ways of measuring identity and phenotype so that these quantitative measures better capture qualitatively different experiences. In another, related project, Gonlin is focused on the outcomes of inconsistencies between identity measures – what are the ramifications when someone’s self-identity is not the same as how they believe others identify them? Additional emerging projects investigate coalition building and community organizing along the lines of shared identities.