Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series

Mass Incarceration and the Masking of Inequality

with Becky Pettit

Past Event
Monday, May 18, 2015
12:30 PM — 1:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

Civil rights legislation in the 1960s promised greater racial equality in a variety of domains including education, economic opportunity, and voting. Yet those same laws were coupled with exclusions from surveys used to gauge their effects thereby affecting both statistical portraits of inequality and our understanding of the impact of civil rights legislation. This project considers how growth in the American criminal justice system affects assessments of equal opportunity more than half a century after the enactment of historic legislation meant to redress racial inequities in America.

Becky Pettit is a professor of sociology at the University of Texas-Austin. She is author of numerous books and articles, including Gendered Tradeoffs (with Jennifer Hook) and Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. Professor Pettit’s research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, MSNBC and numerous other media outlets and she has been invited to speak at the White House, Congressional Budget Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, and many colleges and universities. Professor Pettit teaches courses on sociological research methods, statistics, and social inequality. Professor Pettit holds a PhD in sociology from Princeton University and a BA in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.