Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society

Center for Research on
Race and Ethnicity in Society

A research center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Indiana University Bloomington


Current Directors

Dina OkamotoDina Okamoto is the Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) and Professor of Sociology at Indiana University. Her research focuses on race and ethnicity, immigrant incorporation, as well as intergroup conflict and cooperation in the U.S. context.

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Dina arrived at IU in 2013, and previously taught at the University of California, Davis. She received her PhD in sociology from the University of Arizona in 2001. She has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York and a visiting fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.

Her research focuses on understanding how group boundaries and identities shift and change, which has broader implications for racial formation, immigrant incorporation, as well as intergroup conflict and cooperation. Dina recently completed a book, Redefining Race: Asian American Panethnicity and Shifting Ethnic Boundaries (Russell Sage Foundation, 2014), which traces the complex evolution of "Asian American" as a panethnic label and identity, and emphasizes how panethnicity is a deliberate social achievement negotiated by group members, rather than an organic and inevitable process.

Dina's current projects investigate the civic and political incorporation of immigrants in the United States, intergroup relations between native-born and immigrant groups in new and re-emerging gateways, the role of community-based organizations in the lives of immigrant youth, and how low-income groups navigate access to and opportunity provided by local institutions.

Michelle MoydMichelle Moyd is the Associate Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) and Associate Professor of History at Indiana University. She is a historian of eastern Africa, with special interests in the history of African soldiers and warfare. Other research interests include German colonial history, the history of racial thought in Europe, Africa, and the United States, and the history of race as a factor in labor and military recruitment processes in Africa and elsewhere.

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Michelle arrived at IU in 2008 after receiving her Ph.D. in History from Cornell University. She has held residential fellowships at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas—Austin and at the International Research Center on Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History in Berlin. Michelle's first book, Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa,explores the social and cultural history of African soldiers (askari) in the colonial army of German East Africa, today's Tanzania. The book examines how askari identities were shaped by their geographical and sociological origins, their ways of war, and their roles as agents of the colonial state.

She is currently at work on a short book entitled Africa, Africans, and the First World War, which examines the spectrum of African experiences in the war, especially as soldiers and workers. She is also researching the social, cultural, and international political history of the 1979 Kagera War fought between Tanzania and Uganda for a future book-length project. Another research project, which is in a very early stage, involves examining the historical links between colonial militaries and work across different imperial experiences. Michelle is particularly interested in bringing the experience of nineteenth-century African-American soldiers into a broader analysis of soldiers of empire.

Past Directors

Pamela JacksonPamela Braboy Jackson was the Inaugural Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society and is a Professor of Sociology at Indiana University. Her research is in the areas of medical sociology, social psychology, family sociology, race & ethnic relations, and the Black middle class.

Pam previously served as a member of the sociology faculty at Duke University. She earned her PhD from Indiana University, where she was a Ford Foundation Fellowship recipient and a predoctoral research fellow for the NIMH funded program in Self, Identity, and Mental Health. As an associate professor at IUB, she was a recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research.

She has served on a variety of committees for the American Sociological Association (ASA), including as Editorial Board member for the American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Psychology Quarterly. Some of her committee work includes member of the Advisory Committee for the Minority Fellowship Program, director of the Mentoring Program for the Mental Health Section, elected chair of the mental health section for the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and elected secretary/treasurer for the Social Psychology section of the ASA.

She is working on several research projects focusing on racial health disparities. She has authored many scholarly articles and book chapters and is currently co-authoring a book on the way in which race/ethnicity (ethnorace), gender, and social class intersect to define the experience of family life among adults in the Midwest.

Sylvia MartinezSylvia Martinez is an Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Latino Studies program at Indiana University.  Her research focuses on Latino/a ethnic identity, Latino/a education, and sociology of education issues more generally.

Sylvia received her PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago in 2006.  She has been an IU faculty member since the Fall of 2006 and has served as the Associate Director for CRRES from 2012 and 2014.

Her past research focused on issues of engagement in school.  More specifically, the work examined whether Latino youth were challenged academically in the courses in which they were enrolled and whether students viewed these challenges as positive or negative experiences.

More recently, her work as has explored how Latino adults continue to negotiate their ethnic identity as they experience major life events such as marriage or relocating to new communities.  Sylvia is about to start data collection on a project that studies the link between Latino/a ethnic identity and participation at IU’s Latino Cultural Center (La Casa).

Marvin SterlingMarvin Sterling was the Associate Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University. His research interests include contemporary Japan, African Diaspora, race, social identity, Afro-Asia, Performance Studies, transnationalism, and human rights.

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Marvin’s research centers on a range of Jamaican cultural forms in Japan, including roots reggae, dancehall reggae, and Rastafari. He approaches this research from several theoretical perspectives. He uses performance studies, for instance, to ethnographically explore the local, national and transnational issues of social power—including gender, sexuality and class—that inform Japanese engagement with these cultural forms. He analyzes Japanese appropriations of Rastafari in order to understand how ideas of race and particularly blackness have been circulated and re-imagined around the globe.

In a more recent line of research, Marvin has shifted geographical focus from Japan to explore the small Japanese community in Jamaica, whose members arrive to the island primarily to learn Jamaican popular culture at its source. In another new line of research, he historicizes the development of ideas of social justice in the country primarily as a conversation between local and international civil society groups, with focus on the contemporary discourse and practice of "human rights".

Karen InouyeKaren Inouye was the Associate Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society (CRRES) and Assistant Professor of American Studies at Indiana University. Her book, "The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration" (Stanford University Press, 2016) focuses on questions of belonging, race and ethnicity. Her next book project concerns the cultural and political impacts of the decision to build prison camps for Nikkei on Native American and Indigenous lands.

Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Schuessler Institute for Social Research
1022 E. 3rd St., Room 209,
Bloomington, IN 47405

Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm