Asia Bento


Asia Bento is an urban sociologist who studies racism’s impact on economic inequality, particularly the ways in which discrimination and residential segregation shape economic mobility for Black populations in the U.S. She examines discriminatory policies and practices that sustain segregation and constrain economic opportunities, and she also looks at how individuals and communities respond to these factors to create their own economic opportunities. Recent work, published in Ethnic & Racial Studies, examines how a belief in systemic racism motivates Black adults to pursue self-employment in the U.S. She’s currently looking at a common misconception that access to banks will relax a dependence on high-cost credit in financially excluded Black segregated neighborhoods. Her work finds that instead, access to banks in these spaces increases exposure to high-cost credit. 

Bento recently completed her Ph.D. in sociology at Rice University, and she’s excited to be joining a top-ranked department and interdisciplinary campus where she hopes to partner with scholars who specialize in topics in race, ethnicity, and economic sociology. She’s also excited about the campus’s commitment to inclusive excellence, and she looks forward to being in a space that supports underrepresented students’ success. 


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