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Lauren Davenport

Lauren Davenport

Political Science
Stanford University
Fellow, 2021-22

Lauren Davenport will spend her CASBS year studying the dynamic and subjective nature of race, and how it is impacted by political phenomena. Theoretically, social science accepts a constructivist view of race – that it varies across contexts, interaction, and individual choice. But empirically, the underlying concept in racial measurement in the U.S. remains fixed and categorical by confining respondents to the marking of boxes on a form. In a series of projects, Davenport will examine original surveys and survey experiments to assess the fluidity of racial self-identity and categorization, and the degree to which race is shaped by ascriptive and acquired traits.  

Davenport’s research focuses on American politics and public opinion, particularly how racial and ethnic minorities develop their identities and political attachments.  She is an associate professor of political science at Stanford University. Her research has been published in leading journals in political science and sociology, including the American Political Science Review, the American Sociological Review, and the American Journal of Political Science. Her book, Politics Beyond Black and White (Cambridge University Press, 2018), won the International Society of Political Psychology Sears Best Book Award. In 2021, she was awarded Stanford’s Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Humanities and Sciences.   

For more information, please visit her website: