A Conversation on Race with Dr. Alford Young

The Minds of Marginalized Black Men

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 1 pm

Michigan Room, Fairlane Center South Building


Dr. Alford Young is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus. He is also a Professor in the Afro-american and African Studies at the University. He received a B.A. in Sociology-Psychology and Afro-American Studies from Wesleyan University, and both his M.A and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. 

Dr. Young’s research interests include Cultural Sociology, History of Sociology/Social Thought, Racial & Ethnic Relations, Theory, & Urban Sociology.  He has pursued research on low-income, urban-based African Americans, employees at an automobile manufacturing plant, African American scholars and intellectuals, and the classroom-based experiences of higher-education faculty as they pertain to diversity and multiculturalism.  He employs ethnographic interviewing as his primary data collection method.  His principal scholarly objective has been to explore how the social experiences of African Americans shape the emergence of what sociologist Erving Goffman referred to as schemata of interpretation.  These schemata include worldviews, belief systems, and ideologies.  Here his work has centered on exploring the connections between the social location of individuals (i.e., differences in types of residential experiences, work histories, schooling experiences, etc.) and the content of their worldviews and beliefs systems about mobility, the world of work, and other social issues and conditions.   His objective in research on low-income African American men, his primary area of research, has been to argue for a renewed cultural sociology of the African American urban poor.  Essentially, he argues that behavior is not solely produced and regulated by values and norms, but is also affected by the beliefs, worldviews, and personal ideologies that people construct, adapt, and/or employ in forming what are, for them, common-sense understandings of social reality.  More specifically, he explores how those understandings emerge in different form based on individuals' patterns of social exposure to people who are positioned differently in various social hierarchies (racial, ethnic, class-based, etc.).

Dr. Young is a noted author, with two publications, The Minds of Marginalized Black Men (2008), and Faculty Identities and the Challenge of Diversity (2013). 

This event is sponsored by the Office for the Chancellor, and the Office for Student Engagement. 

This event is free and open to the public. 

For more information on this and future diversity related events, please contact the OSE via phone at 313.593.5390.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers' views.