Sociology

Sociology

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Megan Underhill

Title: Taft Dissertation Fellow
Email: underhmr@mail.uc.edu

Currently, my research examines how race is created in the home among white families. My dissertation project, Becoming White, is a qualitative study of white families in both a white-segregated and multiracial neighborhood that examines what—and perhaps more importantly, how—middle and lower income white parents, teach their children about race. Research indicates that few white Americans possess an awareness of their own racial identity, or the privileges that such an identity affords. This hidden identity stems from white control of normative culture. My research sheds light on how this normative culture is constructed in real time. Through qualitative interviews with 50 white parents and ethnographic observation in both a white-segregated and a multiracial neighborhood, I investigate what white parents say to their children about race, as well as what they do to craft a white identity. 

Education

  • BS, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, 2002 (Anthropology).
  • MA, Colorado State University , Fort Collins, Colorado, 2008 (Anthropology).
  • Ph.D, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (Sociology).

Research Information

Research Interests

Race & Ethnicity, Social Inequality, Family, Communities, Qualitative Methods, Sociological Theory

Research Support

  • Graduate Student Research Award, Kunz Center for Social Research, . $450.00. 2014. Status: Active.
  • Graduate Enrichment Award, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center,. $2,475.00. 2014. Status: Active.
  • Taft Dissertation Fellowship, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, . $17,500. 2015 to 2016.
  • Kunz Center Graduate Student Research Award, Kunz Center for Social Research, . $500.. 2015.
  • Travel Award, Graduate Student Governance Association. $400.00. 2015.

Publications

Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Reczek, C., Thomeer, M., Lodge, A., Umberson, D., & Underhill, M. (2014). Diet and exercise in parenthood: A social control perspective . Journal of Marriage and Family, 76, 1047-1062.
  • Underhill, Megan (Under Review). "Diversity is important to me:" White families and the cultivation of race..

Book Chapters

  • Megan Underhill (2009). The Invisible Toll of Katrina: How Social and Economic Resources are Altering the Recovery Experience among Katrina Evacuees in Colorado. In Eric C. Jones and Arthur D. Murphy (Eds.), The Political Economy of Disasters (pp.59-82). AltaMira Press .

Other Publications

  • Underhill, Megan (2014). Marital quality of adult children and parental influence. Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research,, 3808-3811 Springer Science+Business Media.

Presentations & Lectures

Paper Presentations

  • Underhill, Megan (2006). Reconstituting Life After Disaster: Testimonies of Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Living in Denver, Colorado. Annual Meeting for the Society for Applied Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Underhill, Megan (2006). Resettlement After Disaster: How Katrina Evacuees in Colorado Negotiate a Changed Habitus. 31st Annual Workshop on Hazards Research and Applications, Boulder, Colorado.
  • Underhill, Megan (2006). Disaster, Displacement, and Social Capital: The Role of Social Capital in the Recovery of Katrina Evacuee in Colorado. Katrina Research Symposium, New Orleans, Louisiana .
  • Underhill, Megan (2007). The Invisible Toll of Katrina: How Social and Economic Resources are Altering the Recovery Experience among Katrina Evacuees in Colorado. Annual Meeting for the Society for Economic Anthropology, Greensboro, North Carolina .
  • Underhill, Megan (2013). Looking at oneself through the eyes of others: A critical analysis of the racial formation literature. North Central Sociological Association, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Underhill, Megan (2014). Becoming white:The racial socialization practices of white parents. North Central Sociological Association, Cincinnati.
  • Underhill, Megan (2015). The transmission of racial knowledge among white families: Does neighborhood context matter?. Southern Sociological Society, New Orleans, Louisiana .
  • Underhill, Megan (2015). The racialized consequences of intensive parenting . American Sociological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Underhill, Megan (2016). Diversity is good, except sometimes.... Joint Annual Meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society and the North Central Sociological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Underhill, Megan (2016). “Uncivilized “others”: Middle class whites and racial and class boundary making. Charles Phelps Taft Research Center HumanitiesNOW Graduate Conference, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Underhill, Megan (2016). Policing the boundaries of acceptable middle-class whiteness. Annual Meeting of the Southern Sociological Society, Atlanta, GA.

Poster Presentations

  • Underhill, Megan (2015). Cultural studies in St. Croix: More than a hurricane defines a poeple Graduate Student Expo & Poster Forum, University of Cincinnati.

Colloquia

  • Underhill, Megan (2006). Life after Katrina: Struggles to regain control and culture. Women Studies Colloquium, Colorado State University.
  • Underhill, Megan (2014). Racial socialization among white parents?. Graduate Student Colloquium, University of Cincinnati.

Honors & Awards

  • Taft Graduate Enhancement Summer Fellowship, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center , 05/01/2013 to 08/01/2013.
  • Undergraduate Summer Mentor , SUMR-UC, University of Cincinnati , BAD DATE to BAD DATE.
  • Taft Graduate Enhancement Summer Fellowship, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center , BAD DATE to BAD DATE.

Experience & Service

Courses Taught

  • 15-SOC-141 INTRO TO SOCIOLOGY

  • SOC-305 SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY

  • SOC-3073 SOCIOLOGY OF RACE