Margaret A. Hagerman is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. She is also a Faculty Affiliate in the African American Studies program and Gender Studies program. She received her B.A. in English and her M.A. in Sociology at Lehigh University, and she earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Emory University in 2014.
Dr. Hagerman is the author of the award-winning book, White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America (NYU Press 2018), and she is a nationally recognized expert on white racial socialization processes. Her research explores how children and youth learn about racism, racial inequality, and racial privilege in their everyday lives. Specifically, she studies the key mechanisms of how children “learn race” and what role key institutions like family, school, and place play in this process. She explores how aspects of children’s social environments—from neighborhoods to schools to geographic regions to the larger political landscape—shape how and what they learn about race and racism in America.
Through listening to the voices of children and youth, Dr. Hagerman’s research also illustrates what young people today think about race and racism in America—as well as how children interpret and understand current events, contemporary controversies, and societal divides. This research can be found in publications such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Equity and Excellence in Education, and Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Dr. Hagerman’s work has been featured by a range of mainstream media outlets including PBS Newshour, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Time, Good Housekeeping, Libération, L.A. Times and on acclaimed radio programs including NPR’s Marketplace, BBC World News, and CBC’s The Current. Dr. Hagerman also shares her research in applied settings across the country.