Ph.D. 2011, Harvard
Areas of Interest
Critical Race Theory, Global White Supremacy, Temporality, Collective Memory, Social Movements, Mindfulness and Spirituality
As a cultural sociologist, my work is primarily concerned with three interrelated subjective dimensions of intergroup relations: (1) how social actors define their collective identities in relation to (2) the logics they use to understand contemporary racism and (3) their interpretations of past ethnoracial conflict like slavery, colonization and de jure segregation. At the heart of my work is an interest in revealing the conditions and mechanisms that enable or constrain inter-ethnic solidarity, empathy and cooperation. Related interests include social memory studies, symbolic interactionism, black/feminist theory, social movements, stigma and interdicsiplinary work on the Black/African diaspora. I'm currently working on several interrelated projects.
My book Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France (2017 Temple University Press) utilizes a critical race perspective to analyze past and present racism in France. At the heart of the book is a puzzle: How does a nation that officially frames itself as blind to race make sense of its racist and racial past? To answer this question, I draw upon two years of qualitative fieldwork in the Paris region to assess how a variety of stakeholders -- white French politicians, black and multiracial activists and members of the French Caribbean public -- interpret transatlantic slavery and contemporary race politics in France. Using over 100 in-depth interviews, participant observation at cultural events and content analysis of political speeches, the book focuses on the emotional templates, conceptual frameworks, and racial logics deployed by the French to grapple with the slavery past. In particular, I draw attention to the role of ethnic and racial movements in (re)constructing the collective representations of colonialism while challenging the boundaries of citizenship and belonging in France.
Throughout the work, I offer France as a kind of social laboratory for understanding how social actors confront racial history in contexts shaped by white supremacy and colorblindness. Activists and ordinary people alike resist the colorblindness of the French state by historicizing race and racism—making connections between present and past racial oppression. Resurrecting Slavery moves beyond 'collective memory' to argue for a cultural sociology of "racial temporality", uncovering how social actors imagine the unfolding of ethnic and racial processes and projects through time. I also explore the factors that foster or impede people's ability to make connections between the racial past, present and future. Despite the anti-racist aims of activists and officials' efforts to resurrect the history and memory of slavery, commemorations sometimes obscure, rather than unveil, institutional racism as well as the central role of whites and whiteness in the construction of racial oppression and anti-blackness in France. Overall I suggest that these factors undermine the efforts of minorities and white allies to comprehend and contest racial injustice.
My new line of research builds on my interests in race, temporality and well-being by examining the experiences of people of color in practicing mindfulness and meditation.
2017 Fleming, Crystal M. In Press. Resurrecting Slavery: Racial Legacies and White Supremacy in France. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
2016. Gonzalez, Adam, Locicero, B., Mahaffey, B., Fleming, C., Harris, J. and Vujanovic, A. “Internalized HIV-Stigma and Mindfulness: Associations with PTSD Symptom Severity in Trauma-Exposed Adults with HIV/AIDS. Behavior Modification.” Behavior Modification. 40(1-2): 144-163. (Invited)
2015. Fleming, Crystal M. and Morris, A. “Theorizing Ethnic and Racial Movements in the Global Age: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. 1(1): 105-126.
2012. “White Cruelty or Republican Sins? Competing Frames of Stigma Reversal in French Commemorations of Slavery”, Ethnic and Racial Studies (35:3), pp. 448-505.
2012. “Varieties of Responses to Stigmatization: Macro, Meso, and Micro Dimensions.” (with Michèle Lamont and Jessica Welburn). Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. 9(1): 43-49.
2012 “African Americans Respond to Stigmatization: The Meanings and Salience of Confronting, Deflecting Conflict, Educating the Ignorant and „Managing The Self..” (with Michèle Lamont and Jessica Welburn). Ethnic and Racial Studies 35(3): 400-417.2011.
2011 “The Educational Experiences of Caribbeans in France”, pp. 79-98 in Kassie Freeman, Ethan Johnson and Kelvin Shawn Sealey (Eds.), Education in the Black Diaspora. London and New York: Routledge.
2011. "Academic Conferences and the Making of Philosophical Knowledge" (with Neil Gross), in Camic, Charles, Neil Gross and Michèle Lamont (Eds.) Social Knowledge in the Making, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2007. "Black Cultural Capitalists: African American Elites and the Organization of the Arts in Early Twentieth-Century Boston" (with Lorraine Roses), Poetics (356), pp. 368-387.
2005. "Everyday Anti-Racism: Competence and Religion in the Cultural Repertoire of the African-American Elite and Working Class" (with Michèle Lamont), The Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race (2:1), pp. 29-43.
News & Events
|• Michael Schwartz, Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus. and our alumnus Josh Murray (Vanderbilt University) have won the outstanding article award for the ASA Marxist Sociology Section for their paper, "Moral Economy, Structural Leverage, and Organizational Efficacy: Class Formation and the Great Fling Sit-Down Strike, 1936-37." Critical Historical Studies|
|• Tiffany Joseph (with co-author Helen Marrow) has received the Donald W. Light Award for the Applied or Public Practice of Medical Sociology. The award was received for their paper, "Excluded and Frozen Out: Unauthorized Immigrants' (Non) Access to Care after Healthcare Reforms." Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies
|•Carrie Shandra has been awarded a grant under the Department of Labor Scholars Program for a project on Job Characteristics and Job Retention of Young Workers With Disabilities|
|• Jennifer Heerwig (with collaborator Brian McCabe) has been awarded a seed grant from
Georgetown's McCourt School Massive Data Institute for their project,
"The Seattle Voucher Experiment: Using Big Data to Enhance Local Democracy."
|• Arnout van de Rijt with our Alumni Eran Shor (McGill University) was awarded the bests paper award from the Communication, Information Technology and Media Studies section of the ASA for their co-authored paper (Eran Shor, Arnoug van de Rijt, Alex Mitsov, Vivek Kulkarni, and Steven Skiena), "A Paper Ceiling: Explaining the Persistent Underrepresentation of Women in Printed News." American Sociological Review
|• Carrie Shandra was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Publication in the Sociology of Disability Award from the ASA Section on Disability and Society for her paper "Benefactors and Beneficiaries? Disability and Care to Others" forthcoming in the Journal of Marriage and Family
|• Rebekah Burroway has received an "Outstanding Author Contribution" from the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence for her paper "Empowering Women, Strengthening Children: A Multi-Level Analysis of Gender Inequality and Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries" published in Advances in Gender Research|
|• Amy Hsin, Queens College, Department of Sociology, May 3rd, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403,"The Effects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on the Educational Outcomes of Undocumented Students: Evidence from a Large Public University."
|• Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Assistant Professor Tiffany Joseph, Wednesday, April 19th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "The Growing Citizen-Noncitizen Divide: Life along the Documentation Status Continuum."|
|• Transforming Sociology (program), Sociology Graduate Student Conference, March 31, 2017, Center for Global Studies at Stony Brook University
|• Deborah Carr, Rutgers University, Department of Sociology, March 29th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Do Marital and Kin Support Enhance (or Undermine) Older Adults' Well-Being? New Evidence from the DUST Study."
|• Nicholas Hoover Wilson selected as a Faculty Fellow at the Humanities Institute of Stony Brook University for 2017-2018.|
|• Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Ph.D. student Helena Darwin, Wednesday, November 30th, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "Doing Genderqueer"|
|•Chandra Muller, University of Texas, Austin, Department of Sociology, November 14th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Education and the Transition Through Adulthood to Midlife in the New Economy."
|• Sociology Brown Bag Series presents Assistant Professor Jason Jones,
Wednesday, November 2, 1:00 - 2:20 PM, SBS N403, "An Audit Study of Public School Principals: Evidence for Selective Response."
|• Mindfulness and Diversity: Mind-Body Approaches for Enhancing Awareness and Well-Being, Friday, October 28th, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. For information and to register, please go to
•IHSS will present Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University, Professor of Anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, October 26, 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM, SBS N318, "Governmentality in the East."
•Stewart Hoover, University of Colorado-Boulder, Director of the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, October 24th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Does God Make the Man? Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity"
•Josh Pacewicz, Brown University, Department of Sociology, October 10th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM, SBS N403, "Partisans & Partners: The Politics of the Post-Keynesian Society."
Department of Sociology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700