Margaret Hagerman

Department / Division

  • Sociology
  • African American Studies


  • Associate Professor


Phone: 662-325-2495



Margaret A. Hagerman is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University and holds faculty affiliate positions in both the African American Studies and Gender Studies programs. She is a nationally recognized expert on white racial socialization. Using qualitative, child-centered methods, Dr. Hagerman explores how aspects of children’s social contexts—from families to neighborhoods to schools to geographic regions to the larger political landscape—shape how and what they learn about race, racism, and racial privilege, and what this means for racial inequality more broadly.

Dr. Hagerman is the author of two books including Children of a Troubled Time: Growing Up with Racism in Trump’s America (NYU Press 2024) and White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America (NYU Press 2018). Her research can also be found in publications such as Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, Equity and Excellence in Education, and Ethnic and Racial Studies as well as in various edited volumes, including a recent publication by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Her work has been featured by a range of mainstream media outlets including PBS Newshour, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Time, Good Housekeeping, Libération, L.A. Times and on acclaimed radio programs including NPR’s Marketplace, BBC World News, and CBC’s The Current.

Dr. Hagerman teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on race, families, education, children, inequality, and qualitative methods.



  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Sociology, Emory University, 2014
  • Master of Arts (M.A.), Sociology, Lehigh University, 2006
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), English, Lehigh University, 2004

Research interests:

Racial Socialization; Racism; Race and Ethnic Relations; Children and Youth; Qualitative Methods; Families; Privilege; Education



  • White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America. New York University Press. 2018

Book, Chapter

  • “‘The Celebrity Thing’: Using Photographs of Celebrities in Child-Centered, Ethnographic Interviews with White Kids about Race. Researching Kids and Teens: Methodological Issues, Strategies, and Innovations. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth. 302-324 . 2017
  • "Ignorance and Outrage: White Families (Don't) Talk About Race". Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice. SensePublishers. 73--78. 2014
  • I Like Being Intervieeeeeeewed!’: Children’s Perspectives on Participating in Social Research. Children and Youth Speak for Themselves. Sociological Studies of Children and Youth. 61-101. 2010

Journal Article

  • Race Scholarship ‘With, By, and For’ Children: How Critical Youth Studies Can Inform Research on Race. Sociology Compass. Volume 11, Issue 8, Page e12501. 2017
  • White Racial Socialization: Progressive Fathers on Raising ‘Antiracist’ Children. Journal of Marriage and Family. Volume 79, Pages 60-74. 2017
  • Reproducing and Reworking Colorblind Racial Ideology: Acknowledging Children’s Agency in the White Habitus. Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. Volume 2, Issue 1, Pages 58-71. 2016
  • White Families and Race: Colour-blind and Colour-conscious Approaches to White Racial Socialization. Ethnic and Racial Studies. Volume 37, Issue 14, Pages 2598-2614. 2014