Robert Reece

Robert Reece
University of Texas at Austin | UT · Department of Sociology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

16
Publications
14,177
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158
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in pushing race scholarship past simply mapping racial inequality onto a set of taken-for-granted racial categories. With that in mind, I use historical Census data and survey data to explore themes related to the origins of racialization and racialized social outcomes (eg, the legacy of slavery and contemporary colorism), the slipperiness of racial categories, and how physical appearance, such as skin tone and body size, maps on to and intersects with race.
Education
August 2012 - May 2017
Duke University
Field of study
  • Sociology

Publications

Publications (16)
Article
Full-text available
As questions about racial reparations have entered public and political discourse again, research about the long-term impact of chattel slavery-so called "legacy of slavery" research-has taken on new significance. Over the past two decades researchers have identified direct quantitative links between slavery and a number of contemporary social and...
Article
Full-text available
As social movements have been sparked across the United States over recent years to bring attention to and combat various forms of racial inequality, from police violence to mass incarceration to economics, one issue has been conspicuously absent as a target: colorism. Among black Americans colorism is almost ubiquitous, creating vast skin tone dis...
Article
Full-text available
This manuscript leverages the plethora of research on colorism and skin tone stratification among Black Americans to consider how the "Black" racial category may change going forward. I build on ideas about path dependence, racial and ethnic boundary formations, racial reorganization, and a case study on race and body size to explore how extant gro...
Article
Full-text available
Although researchers have made great strides in understanding colorism and skin tone stratification in the USA, important connections are still outstanding. One of these connections lies at the intersection of skin tone and gender stratification among black Americans, a place where researchers have certainly visited but work remains to be done. Thi...
Article
Full-text available
In 1965 a group of sharecroppers decided to strike from one of the most prominent plantations in the Mississippi Delta in pursuit of better working conditions. Led by a local man named John Henry Sylvester they sought to establish a self-sustaining community in Washington County, Mississippi. This manuscript tells their story.
Article
Full-text available
Research on racial fluidity has become increasingly common as researchers seek to understand the ways and reasons people change their racial identifications and/or are perceived differently over time and across contexts. Concurrently, researchers have deepened their investigations of the attitudinal and identity aspects of "color," that is the ways...
Article
Full-text available
Legacy of slavery research has branched out into an important new niche in social science research by making empirical connections between the trans-Atlantic slave trade and contemporary social outcomes. However, the vast majority of this research examines black-white inequality or black disadvantage without devoting corresponding attention to the...
Article
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Critical race theory teaches that racism and racial inequality are constants in American society that stand outside of the prejudices of individuals. It argues that structures and institutions are primarily responsible for the maintenance of racial inequality. However, critical race theorists have neglected to formally examine and theorize colorism...
Article
Full-text available
America’s obsession with obesity has spawned increasing amounts of research examining how body size shapes social outcomes. Generally, body size negatively correlates with these outcomes, with larger people suffering lower self-esteem, marriage rates, and wages. However, these outcomes are unevenly distributed among racial groups, as black people c...
Article
Full-text available
Studies show lighter skinned Black people are advantaged on a number of social indicators—a phenomenon called “colorism.” These studies generally contend preferences for light-skinned and/or Mulatto slaves endured the postbellum period to shape social outcomes into today. Following this idea, other studies examine differences in social outcomes bet...
Article
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The lack of a representative scientific workforce is a challenge being addressed by federal agencies, funding bodies, and research institutes. As organizational units emphasize the work of training, recruiting, retaining, and promoting an inclusive scientific body, issues around bias and metrics appear frequently in the literature. The goal of this...
Chapter
Full-text available
“Color” describes the variations in skin tone and other phenotypic characteristics—such as hair texture, nose shape, and lip shape—among people of color. A wide variety of research demonstrates that color shapes the life experiences of people of color in almost every country in the world (Hunter, 2005).
Article
Full-text available
Studies consistently show that attractiveness is racialized, and in a racial hierarchy that privileges whites at the expense of blacks, white phenotypic characteristics are deemed more attractive than black phenotypic characteristics. This study seeks to examine whether the racialized nature of attractiveness is based on more than just appearance....
Article
Full-text available
History is centrally involved in place development. Given the historical importance of antebellum slavery, it is little surprise that it profoundly shaped the social and economic future of the United States. What is perhaps more surprising is the link to local, county-level development as it relates to contemporary systems of black disadvantage. Th...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The purpose of the project is to develop a deeper understanding of the origins of skin tone stratification and colorism in the United States and the mechanisms and processes that facilitate skin tone and color inequality.
Project
The purpose of this project is to understand the long-term effects of chattel slavery in the United States, specifically the American South, using a combination of regression analysis and historical and contemporary Census data.