I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University-Camden with affiliations in Africana Studies and Latin American and Latino studies. Before coming to Rutgers-Camden, I was a Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Africana Studies.
I do research on the meaning that social actors give to racial and ethnic boundaries. My first book, Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race (Release date: May 21, 2019, NYU Press) examines how black-white interracial couples negotiate ethnoracial boundaries in Brazil and the United States. Boundaries of Love is based on 103 interviews with 47 people in black-white couples in Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles. While other scholars have looked only at blacks in both countries, relied solely on survey data, or made assumptions about race based on personal experiences in these two societies, Boundaries of Love is the first qualitative study to systematically compare how Americans and Brazilians, both black and white, make sense of race and ethnicity in their lives. Through what I call an intersectional “critical constructionist” approach to comparing race and ethnicity across societies, I how these inter-married individuals used other social categories like gender, socioeconomic status, and region in their understanding of ethnoracial boundaries.
My next project employs critical constructionism to understand how nursing socializes foreign-born African immigrants to make sense of racial and ethnic boundaries in the United States. Through qualitative interviews, I examine how gender, educational attainment, undocumented status, and xenophobia are related to boundaries of care.
In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction, reading novels, lifting weights, and watching Game of Thrones.
I teach Introduction to Sociology, Race in Latin America, Interracial and Interethnic Dynamics, Individual and Society, and Race in Brazil.
Recent and Forthcoming Publications
Osuji, Chinyere. 2014. “Divergence or Convergence: Black-White Interracial Couples and White Family Reactions in the U.S. and Brazil.” Qualitative Sociology.
Zamora, Sylvia and Chinyere Osuji. 2014. “Mobilizing African Americans for Immigrant Rights: Framing Strategies in Two Multi-Ethnic Coalitions.” Latino Studies.