Sociologist, CNN blogger to discuss singles' growing role in black middle class

Released on 03/25/2013, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Monday, Apr. 8, 2013

WHERE: Burnett Hall Room 107, 12th and T Streets

Lincoln, Neb., March 25th, 2013 —
Kris Marsh
Kris Marsh

            Studies on the black middle class have focused mainly on married couples with children. Never-married singles who live alone, however, make up a rapidly growing part of the black middle class, a development that requires rethinking how that segment is defined.

            This raises questions on how alternative avenues into the middle class may vary by race, social and racial inequality: Within the middle class, how do racial groups differ by household types? 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? Policy questions include: Can a single and living alone adult be considered a family of one? What are the political advantages and disadvantages of such classifications? How should public policy be changed to support demographic shifts?

            University of Maryland sociologist Kris Marsh will address these and other questions during an April 8 public discussion. The event, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 107 of Burnett Hall, 12th and T streets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln City Campus, is free and open to the public.

            Marsh, an expert on the black middle class, demography, racial residential segregation and education, researches two areas: avenues into the black middle class and consequences of being there. Her work's common theme is decomposing what it means to be black in the United States by focusing on intra-group variability in regard to class, space, identity and educational achievement.

            In addition to teaching courses in race relations, the black middle class and racial residential segregation, Marsh was a blogger and contributor to CNN's "In America" project, which focuses on the changing American identity.

            Her speech, "In the Middle Class but Single and Living Alone: What are the Economic, Racial and Political Implications?" is sponsored by UNL's College of Arts and Sciences through the Thomas C. Sorensen Endowment, the UNL Department of Sociology and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

Writer: Tarik Abdel-Monem

News Release Contacts:

Associated Media Files: