Credentials: Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies and Sociology
Website: Mosi Ifatunju's website
4448 Sewell Social Sciences/4139 Helen C. White Hall
Research Interest Statement:
Ifatunji’s primary research interests are in racial and ethnic theory and the methodologies used to study inequality and stratification. He is particularly interested in theorizing how non-phenomic characteristics contribute to racial classification and stratification. While most theories of race are based on assigning racialized meanings to people and populations according to perceived differences in skin color, hair texture and/or bone structure, he argues that racial classification often turns on non-phenomic characteristics, including language, religion, and geography. For instance, the U.S. Census Bureau recently recommended that we change our racial classification of immigrants from countries like Syria and Egypt from White to “Middle Eastern and North African.” For decades, proponents of this change have offered various rationales, but none of them reference phenomics. Therefore, he believes that; since non-phenomic characteristics contribute to the process of assigning racialized meanings to people and populations, we must revise the ontologies and theories that social scientists most often use when studying race and ethnicity. He is advancing this view by studying the ways in which African Americans and Black immigrants are racialized differently in the United States. His research draws on mostly quantitative methods, including: large-scale surveys, linked administrative data, social experiments, advanced statistics, and historiography.