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Core research areas of interest

The focus of our research is on social actors as global citizens and how the various dimensions of their identities overlap with inequalities and communities. Our scholarship, coupled with our emphasis on interdisciplinarity, critical thinking, and sound research methods, results in applications that span the boundaries of Tampa Bay, the state, and the nation. The following is a description of the interrelationships among our department’s strengths:

  Identities and Inequalities

We study how identities emerge from and create inequalities, as well as how identities can shore up social resilience in the face of inequalities. Current studies focus on:

  • ethnic and immigrant identities in a post-9/11 context
  • national identities as they relate to whiteness and other racial constructs
  • identities related to disability and health statuses across the life course
  • mind/body connections, including emotions as lived experience
  Inequalities and Communities

We examine inequalities manifested through social mechanisms across different types of communities through our research on:

  • the politicization of Islamic symbols and state policies
  • nation-building efforts
  • exclusionary politics and their effects on belonging
  • the use of culture to combat stigmas attached to disabilities
  • global perspectives on racial inequalities within families and kinships groups, and across cultures and communities
  • gender, sexual identity, and racial disparities in education
  • social policies that shape the experiential impact of social problems
  Communities and Identities

We study the ways communities create and sustain personal and social identities, and how these identities foster communities. This dimension of research includes topics such as:

  • consumption patterns within families
  • community resilience during disasters
  • identities and small group processes that become visible through social network analysis
  • identities that shape the construction of transnational communities
  • ethnic and racial identities and the formation of friendships and emotional bonds across contexts
  • identity politics in relation to social movements, political discourse, and the changing contours of communities