I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University 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 (April 2019, NYU Press) takes a novel approach to comparing race and ethnicity across societies by examining the experiences of interracial couples. Boundaries of Love relies on 103 qualitative interviews that I conducted with 52 black-white couples between 2008 and 2012 in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese). Through using what I call a critical constructionist approach, Boundaries of Love compares the experiences of couples involving black men and white women with those of black women with white men in these two diverse, multicultural settings. This book reveals how non-elites in these two post-Atlantic slavery societies employ cultural repertoires that push against, bridge over, blur, dismantle or reproduce ethnoracial boundaries.
Overall, Boundaries of Love complicates the notion that ethnoracial boundaries become erased or blurred through interracial marriage. It is the first systematic comparison of how Americans and Brazilians, both black and white, give meaning to race and ethnicity in their lives.Furthermore, by utilizing a critical constructionist perspective, this is one of the first comparative studies to take an intersectional approach to comparing race across different societies.
My next project will employ the critical constructionist approach to nursing and healthcare. In addition, I will be examining the lives of African immigrants, focusing on how they form community without being spatially concentrated.
In my spare time, I enjoy writing fiction, reading novels, lifting weights, and watching Game of Thrones.
Classes I teach:
Introduction to Sociology
Race in Latin America
Interracial and Interethnic Dynamics
Individual and Society
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.
Osuji, Chinyere. 2013. “Racial ‘Boundary-policing’: Perceptions of Black-White Interracial Couples in Los Angeles and Rio de Janeiro.” DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race.
Winner of the 2011 ASA Section on Race and Ethnic Minorities (SREM) Blackwell Award for Best Graduate Student Paper
Winner Best Poster in Session 2010, Population Association of America (PAA)
Osuji, Chinyere. 2013. “Confronting Whitening in an Era of Black-Consciousness: Racial Ideology and Black-White Interracial Marriages in Rio de Janeiro.” Ethnic and Racial Studies.
Featured in Race and Racisms: A Critical Approach edited by Tanya Golash-Boza as “Research Focus: Racial Ideology and Black-White Interracial Marriages in Rio de Janeiro”
Osuji, Chinyere. 2010. “Building Power for ‘Non-Citizen Citizenship:’ A Case Study of The Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network (MIWON).” In Ruth Milkman, Joshua Bloom, and Victor Narro (ed.) Working for Justice: The L.A. Model of Organizing and Advocacy, Cornell University Press.