Strengthening Democracy Challenge
Associate Professor; Idol Family Term Chair of Sociology
Corey D. Fields received his Ph.D. in sociology 2011 from Northwestern University. His research explores the role of identity – at both the individual and collective level – in structuring social life, and contributes to the ongoing analysis of the relationship between identity, experience, and culture. His work draws on a cultural perspective – across a range of methodological approaches – that emphasizes the role of meaning and recognizes that identities are enacted in specific social contexts. Corey is the author of Black Elephants in the Room: The Unexpected Politics of African-American Republicans (2016, University of California Press).
His current research projects explore how identity structures a range of social behaviors across all domains of life, including work, relationships, and politics. He is embarking on a new project that examines the relationship between social and professional identity through the experiences of African Americans in the advertising industry. The project addresses three lines of inquiry: (1) how racial identity is constructed, maintained, and expressed when it operates as both a personal and a professional resource, (2) how corporate institutions respond to increased diversity, and (3) how the work of African American advertising professionals contributes to broader cultural messages about black people. The project aims to articulate how working in advertising informs the formation, expression, and commodification of racial identity, while simultaneously shaping the broader cultural meanings attached to blackness.