Jennifer L. Hochschild is the Henry Lebarre Jayne Professor of Government at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in Afro-American studies and lectureships at the Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Education. Her interests lie in the intersection of American politics and political philosophy, particularly with regard to racial and ethnic politics and educational and social policy. Her recent research focuses on the meaning of the American dream and how it is perceived by Americans of different races and classes.
At Radcliffe, Hochschild will examine the changing meaning of race and ethnicity in the United States. Being identified as black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American tells us only part of what we need to know to understand the role of racial stratification in American society and the effects of demographic change caused by high rates of immigration. One must also consider the growing phenomenon of multiracialism and the poorly recognized effects of skin color hierarchy within, or even across, racial and ethnic groups. The study will use a variety of sources to show how racial and ethnic categories in the United States are being transformed, for better or for worse, as a consequence of immigration and other structural changes.
Hochschild’s PhD in political science is from Yale University. For almost twenty years, she taught at Princeton University, where she was William Steward Tod Professor of Public and International Affairs until 2001. She is the founding editor of Perspectives on Politics, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and on the board of trustees of the Russell Sage Foundation.