Sabrina Pendergrass received an A.B. in Sociology with High Honors and a Certificate in African-American Studies from Princeton University in June 2002. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology and a Doctoral Fellow with the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy. Her research interests are cultural sociology, race and ethnicity, inequality, and internal migration.
Sabrina has recently published in The African American National Biography, The Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, and Poetics. She has also been honored by the Association of Black Sociologists for her previous work on race and ethnicity and by Harvard University for her contributions to the use of technology in teaching.
Sabrina's doctoral dissertation is a class and gender comparative analysis of how culture matters for an understudied demographic shift---the reversal of the African American Great Migration. Based on in-depth interviews with more than 120 African American interregional migrants to Charlotte, NC, the dissertation develops theory about how meaning-making matters with individual-level social network and economic processes of internal migration. The study explains how the meanings of migrating south differ for black middle-class compared to working-class and for black male compared to female migrants. The dissertation also links three sociological subfields—cultural sociology, internal migration, and race/class/gender stratification-- into an original theoretical dialogue. Finally, the project provides one of the first extensive qualitative studies of the reverse migration and is the first to focus on African American migrants to the South who are working-age, moving to urban areas, and were born and raised in the Northeast, Midwest, and West.