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University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Thomas C. Sorensen Seminar:
In the Middle Class but Single and Living Alone: What are the Economic, Racial, and Political Implications?

Date: Monday, April 8th, 2013
Time: 4:30-6:00 PM
Location: Burnett Hall, Room 107
University of Nebraska-Lincoln city campus
Free and Open to the Public

Studies on the black middle class have focused mainly on married-couple families with children. However, never-married singles that live alone constitute a rapidly growing part of the black middle class, a development which requires rethinking how the black middle class is defined.

This opens up a broader discussion of how alternative avenues into the middle class vary by race, social and racial inequality, and policy implications. Within the middle class, how do racial groups differ by household types? Furthermore, what might be the long-term consequences of various avenues into the middle class? Are some avenues better equipped to pass on their class status to the next generation? Important policy questions to consider include, can a single and living alone adult be considered a family of one? What are the political advantages and disadvantages of such classifications? Finally, how should public policy be changed to support demographic shifts?

This event is free and open to the public, students, staff, and faculty at UNL. Co-sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences through the Thomas C. Sorensen Endowment, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Sociology, and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

Featured SpeakerKris Marsh
Kris Marsh received her PhD from the University of Southern California in 2005. She was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina before joining the faculty of Maryland in fall 2008. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology, and affiliate faculty of the Maryland Population Research Center, Department of Women’s Studies, and African American Studies Department.

Professor Marsh’s general areas of expertise are the black middle class, demography, racial residential segregation, and education. She has combined these interests to develop a research agenda that is divided into two broad areas: avenues into the black middle class and consequences of being in the black middle class. The common theme in her work is decomposing what it means to be black in America by focusing on intra-group variability in class, space, identity and educational achievement.

Dr. Marsh teaches undergraduate courses in Research Methods, Race Relations and Black Middle Class and graduate seminars on Racial Residential Segregation. Dr. Marsh served as a blogger and contributor to CNN in America. She has published nearly a dozen articles in academic journals.

Click here for Dr. March’s interview on NET.

Presentation Materials
PDF of Presentation Slides
Audio from the Presentation

Contact Information:
Tarik Abdel-Monem
University of Nebraska Public Policy Center
(402) 472-3147


Click here to learn  more about the Thomas C. Sorensen Seminar Series.