Department of Sociology

Katherine Jensen

M.A, The University of Texas at Austin

Katherine Jensen



Race/Racism, the State, Immigration, Ethnography, Asylum and Refugee Studies, Latin America, African Diaspora


Katherine Jensen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and a Fulbright Awardee. She is also a Graduate Fellow and the Graduate Student Coordinator of the Urban Ethnography Lab, directed by Professor Javier Auyero, a collaborative academic space which bolsters training in the ethnographic method. Her work has appeared in ContextsThe Latin Americanist, Austin American-Statesman, Metropolitics, Public Books, and Racism Review.

Katie's research interests lie at the intersections of race/racism, the state and immigration. Her dissertation is an ethnographic study of the asylum-screening process in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Katie is interested in how, at the ground level, the state decides who qualifies for asylum and with what consequences. She discusses this research in an invited interview in Life & Letters.

Katie's article "Black brazil never slept," on racism and violence in the 2013 Brazil protests, is published in the journal Contexts. There is a supplementary Contexts podcast. Another piece she wrote on these themes can be found on the scholarly blog Racism Review, "When the Bullets Aren't Rubber." Her Master's thesis "Framing Afrodescendants in a country 'donde no hay negros': A critical analysis of the 2010 Argentine census survey of African descent" analyzes how government, media and Afro organizational actors understood the meaning of Afrodescendant and the purposes of the census question.

She is also collaborating with Professors Harel Shapira and Ken-Hou Lin on a research project about concealed handgun permits in the US. Dr. Shapira discusses this research in the New York Times in the op-ed article "Ill-Concealed Prejudice."

She is a co-author of Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in An American City (UT Press). Invisible in Austin examines those living and working on “the other side” of Austin. For more information, see the website.

Learn more about her work here


SOC S307L • Gender/Race/Class Amer Soc

86883 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm CLA 0.104
(also listed as WGS S301)
Course description:   This course examines the workings of gender, race, and class in American society. Though they often go unrecognized, gender, race, and class are crucial axes of stratification, identity, and experience. In this course we will explore how gender, race, and class operate not simply as ways of categorizing people, but also how they have very real consequences for people, particularly the opportunities they have and the challenges they face. We examine each core concept from a sociological perspective and address relationships among them – how gender, race, and class intersect to shape individual experiences, interpersonal interactions, and society more broadly. We will also examine their roles in a variety of institutional contexts, including popular culture, the criminal justice system, and the labor force, among others.


  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086