Margaret Hagerman

 Margaret Hagerman


  • Sociology
  • African American Studies


  • Sociology


  • Associate Professor

Office: (662) 325-0217
Bowen Hall Room 210



Margaret A. Hagerman is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. She is also a Faculty Affiliate in the African American Studies program and Gender Studies program.

Dr. Hagerman is the author of the award-winning book, White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America (NYU Press 2018), and she is a nationally recognized expert on white racial socialization processes. Her research explores how children and youth learn about racism, racial inequality, and racial privilege in their everyday lives. Specifically, she studies the key mechanisms of how children “learn race” and what role key institutions like family, school, and place play in this process. She explores how aspects of children’s social environments—from neighborhoods to schools to geographic regions to the larger political landscape—shape how and what they learn about race and racism in America.

Through listening to the voices of children and youth, Dr. Hagerman’s research also illustrates what young people today think about race and racism in America—as well as how children interpret and understand current events, contemporary controversies, and societal divides. This research can 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.

Dr. Hagerman’s 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 also shares her research in applied settings across the country.

For more information about Dr. Hagerman's work, please visit:


  • 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

Areas of Expertise

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