Andrew Penner, sociology associate professor, is the 2014 co-recipient of the Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award. The honor is distributed by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities in recognition of the best research article published in the past three years on race and ethnicity.

Penner shares the award with co-author Aliya Sapperstein, Stanford University sociologist, for “Racial Fluidity and Inequality in the United States,” which was published in the November 2012 issue of the American Journal of Sociology. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, they found that race – both perceived and self-identified - is fluid and changes over time based on social position. The survey includes responses of 12,686 U.S. men and women who were 14–22 years of age when first surveyed in 1979 and continued to be interviewed through 2002. The researchers found that one in five participants experienced at least one change in racial classification over a 19-year period and that the change occurred in in part as a response to changes in social position. For example, Americans who lost their jobs were more likely to subsequently be seen as black and identify as black, and people who got married were more likely to be seen as and identify as white, regardless of how they were perceived or identified previously.

The two received their award at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in August held in San Francisco.


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