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Sarah Mayorga is a qualitative sociologist who studies racial inequality, urban neighborhoods, and Latinx migration. Her research engages with multiple arenas of racial inequality:


  • Sarah analyzes social life in multiracial spaces in the United States. Specifically, Sarah investigates social ties and social control practices between residents to highlight how power works in urban neighborhoods. Stemming from this work, Sarah has published on her framework of diversity ideology. Diversity ideology captures the particular beliefs and behaviors of white people who pride themselves in valuing diversity, yet still enact norms of white supremacy.

  • Sarah’s second book project is an analysis of racial capitalism in urban space, discussing the interconnections of structural racism and capitalism in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her book, Urban Specters: The Everyday Harms of Racial Capitalism, analyzes the experiences of residents from two working-class Cincinnati neighborhoods, while her co-authored articles on grocery shopping engage with logics of racial capitalism, specifically consumption as freedom and antiblackness.

  • Her future research agenda brings her expertise in race and urban neighborhoods in dialogue with a new area of study: climate change. While still in its conceptualization phase, studying climate adaptation in Massachusetts--in both coastal and non-coastal contexts--is her next anticipated large-scale project.


Before joining the Sociology Department at Brandeis, Sarah worked at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the University of Cincinnati. Sarah earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Duke University, where she was very fortunate to have Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva as her advisor. Sarah fell in love with Sociology after taking Dr. Charlotte O’Kelly’s Power of Whiteness course at Providence College, where she earned her B.A in Sociology with a minor in Black Studies. It is no surprise that questions of power and inequity drive Sarah's research agenda given that her sociology career started in Dr. O’Kelly’s classroom.


Sarah is proudly Nicaraguan American and has fond memories of growing up in Miami, Florida. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

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