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Karolyn Tyson

Karolyn Tyson

Sociology
University of North Carolina
Fellow, 2020-21

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Karolyn Tyson will work on a book manuscript, tentatively titled When Trust Hurts. The book will develop and demonstrate the argument that low-resource individuals are vulnerable to trust, and hence vulnerability is a position of structural disadvantage and not simply a position individuals assume at will. In unequal power relationships, lower-status, low-resourced individuals are at greater risk of manipulation but more compelled to trust than are others, particularly in situations in which the decision holds enormous consequences. When Trust Hurts engages important questions about trust and the dynamics of race, class, and power, and provides novel insights about ongoing mechanisms of inequality.

Tyson is a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She specializes in qualitative research focused on schools and processes of social inequality. She received a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from Spelman College.  Tyson is the author of Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White after Brown (Oxford University Press, 2011) as well as numerous articles examining the schooling experiences and outcomes of black and other students.  Her work is published in outlets such as Social ForcesSociology of EducationAmerican Sociological Review, and Law and Society Review.