Dawna Goens

Dawna Goens DawnaGoens2014@u.northwestern.edu
Advisor: Pattillo, Rosenbaum

Areas of Interest

Urban Sociology, Sociology of Education, Social Stratification and Inequality, the "Middle-Class," and Ethnography


Current Research

My interests lie at the intersection of class and culture focusing on identity formation through encounters with organizations and institutions. From 2008-2010, I conducted field work in a Chicago neighborhood on two parent organizations. Using ethnographic and archival sources, this paper examines how working- and middle-class parent organizations shape the way parents relate to schools in the Chicago education market. The manuscript is titled “From Dueling to Dual Pathways of Empowering Parents in Urban Public Schools.”

My dissertation research focuses on the role non-profit organizations play in facilitating minority social mobility and integration in corporate America. Specifically, I study the cultural capital (or social skills) students acquire through participation in career development programs and the social capital (or networks and status) students gain by simply being affiliated with a reputable non-profit. Schools are often criticized when it comes to facilitating minority young adults' transition into the labor market. However, career development organizations focus specifically on this matter so I consider them a great place for studying issues of social mobility, labor market transition, and signaling merit.


National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Recipient

Diversifying Faculty in Higher Education Fellowship Recipient (declined)

MacArthur Summer Grant Recipient




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November 18, 2013