Rachael Stephens

Doctoral Student


My main interests are U.S. political economic inequity, social change (in relation to politicization, ideology, discourse, etc.), and social ethics. l am committed to trying to better understand--and more effectively transgress--the ways we learn to continually re-make our inequitable realities. I examine how many of us--particularly those who identify as "liberal"--learn to construct the "causes" of various social dynamics in ways that disavow our complicity in and responsibility for its "solutions.”  I also consider how normative social scientific knowledge production is itself grounded in analytical paradigms that make it frighteningly easy to reproduce inequity.  

My dissertation explores these dynamics as they are manifested in the concrete interactions that sustain the so-called "real estate market," property relations (including valuation and taxation), public finance (especially school finance), and perhaps most especially, the public discourses that narrate such phenomena. This focus also allows me to consider contemporary technologies of social differentiation (particularly race-making and related taxonomies of citizenship) as they relate to the late liberal mode of production and to the social ethics with which it is enmeshed. 


B.A., Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross; M.A. Education and Anthropology, Teachers College Columbia University 


Research Interests

political economy; social change, politicization, and knowledge production; social ethics, civic discourse and citizenship education; race-making; real estate, public finance, and taxation; schooling and social reproduction


Graduate Status