Joe Feagin

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Dr. Joe R. Feagin
Born San Angelo, Texas, United States
Nationality United States
Fields Sociology
Institutions Texas A&M University
University of Florida
University of Texas, Austin
Alma mater Harvard University
Baylor University
Notable awards
  • Nomination for Pulitzer Prize
  • W.E.B Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award
  • Arthur Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Founder's Award for Scholarship and Service

Joe R. Feagin is a U.S. sociologist and social theorist who has conducted extensive research on racial and gender issues, especially in regard to the United States. He is currently the Ella C. McFadden and Distinguished Professor at Texas A&M University. Feagin has taught at the University of Massachusetts (Boston), University of California (Riverside), University of Texas (Austin), University of Florida, and Texas A&M University.

Feagin has done much research work on race and ethnic relations and has served as the scholar in residence at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He has written over 60 books, one of which (Ghetto Revolts)[1] was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is the 2006 recipient of a Harvard Alumni Association achievement award and was the 1999-2000 president of the American Sociological Association.

Early life[edit]

He was born in San Angelo, Texas, but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Houston, TX in the area now known as West University Place. He attended Mirabeau B. Lamar High School.


After completing his undergraduate education at Baylor University in 1960, Feagin moved to Boston where he went on to earn his Ph.D. in sociology (social relations) from Harvard University in 1966. He was the Scholar-in-Residence at the U.S. Civil Rights Commission (1974-1975).[2] Currently, he is the Ella C. McFadden and Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University.[3] His research and teaching interests concern mainly the development and structure of racial and gender prejudice and discrimination, especially institutional and systemic discrimination and racism.


His books have won numerous national and professional association awards. His book Ghetto Revolts (Macmillan 1973)[1] was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is the 2006 recipient of a Harvard Alumni (HDS) Association lifetime achievement award and was the 1999–2000 president of the American Sociological Association[4]

Research (Books)[edit]

He is author of over 200 research articles and 60 plus books on racial, gender, and urban issues. Among his books are:

  • A Systemic Racism Critique of Racial Theories in draft with S. Elias (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers)
  • Elite White Men Ruling in preparation with K. Ducey (New York: Routlege)
  • Asian American Women in preparation with S. Chang
  • How Blacks Built America (New York: Routledge, 2015)
  • Jim Crow’s Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation with R. Thompson-Miller and L. H. Picca (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)[5]
  • Liberation Sociology with Hernan Vera and K. Ducey (3rd ed., Paradigm Books, 2014)[6]
  • Latinos Facing Racism: Discrimination, Resistance, and Endurance with Jose A. Cobas (Paradigm Publishers, 2014)[7]
  • Racist America (3rd ed., Routledge, 2014)[8]
  • The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing (2nd ed., Routledge, 2013)[9]
  • Yes We Can: White Racial Framing and the Obama Presidency with A. Harvey-Wingfield (2nd ed., Routledge, 2013)[10]
  • White Party, White Government: Race, Class, and U.S. Politics (Routledge, 2012)[11]
  • Racial and Ethnic Relations with Clairece Booher Feagin (9th ed.; Prentice-Hall, 2011)[12]
  • How the United States Racializes Latinos: At Home and Abroad edited, with J. Cobas and J. Duany (Paradigm Books, 2009)
  • Systemic Racism: A Theory of Oppression (Routledge, 2006)[13]
  • Social Problems: A Power-Conflict Perspective (6th ed., Prentice-Hall, 2005)[14]
  • Black in Blue: African-American Police Officers and Racism Kenneth Bolton with Joe R. Feagin (Routledge, 2004)[15]
  • White Men on Race with Eileen O'Brien (Beacon, 2003)[16]
  • The Many Costs of Racism with Karyn McKinney (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003)[17]
  • The First R: How Children Learn Race and Racism with Debra Van Ausdale (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001)[18]
  • White Racism: The Basics with Hernan Vera and Pinar Batur (2nd ed., Routledge, 2001)[19]

Other notable books:

  • In 2014, he published a book about Asian Americans with Rosalind S. Chou titled Myth of the Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism (2nd ed., Paradigm Publishers, 2014). The second edition of this popular book adds important new research on how racial stereotyping is gendered and sexualized. New interviews show that Asian American men feel emasculated in America’s male hierarchy. Women recount their experiences of being exoticized, subtly and otherwise, as sexual objects. The new data reveal how race, gender, and sexuality intersect in the lives of Asian Americans. The text retains all the features of the renowned first edition, which offered the first in-depth exploration of how Asian Americans experience and cope with everyday racism. The book depicts the “double consciousness” of many Asian Americans—experiencing racism but feeling the pressures to conform to popular images of their group as America’s highly achieving “model minority.” [20]
  • In 2007 he finished a book titled Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage with Leslie Houts Picca (Routledge, 2007). Two-Faced Racism examines and explains the racial attitudes and behaviours exhibited by whites in private settings. While there are many books that deal with public attitudes, behaviours, and incidences concerning race and racism (frontstage), there are few studies on the attitudes whites display among friends, family, and other whites in private settings (backstage). The core of this book draws upon 626 journals of racial events kept by white college students at twenty-eight colleges in the United States. The book seeks to comprehend how whites think in racial terms by analyzing their reported racial events.[21]
  • In 1996, he published The Agony of Education: Black Students at a White University with Hernan Vera and Nikitah Imani (Routledge, 1996). The Agony of Education is about the life experience of African American students attending a historically white university. Based on seventy-seven interviews conducted with black students and parents concerning their experiences with one state university, as well as published and unpublished studies of the black experience at state universities at large, this study captures the painful choices and agonizing dilemmas at the heart of the decisions African Americans must make about higher education.[22]

Research (Peer-reviewed Articles)[edit]

  • "Systemic Racism and U.S. Health Care," Social Science & Medicine 103 (2014):7-14. (with Z. Bennefield).
  • "Pulling Back the ‘Post-Racial’ Curtain: Critical Pedagogical Lessons from Both Sides of the Desk," in K. Haltinner, ed., Teaching Race and Anti-Racism in Contemporary America: Adding Context to Colorblindness (New York: Springer, 2014). (with J. C. Mueller).
  • "Systemic Racism Theory: Critically Examining College Sport Leadership," in L. L. Martin (Ed.), Out of Bounds: Racism and the Black Athlete (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2014). (with M. R. Regan and A. R. Carter-Francique).
  • "Rethinking Racial Formation Theory: A Systemic Racism Critique," Ethnic and Racial Studies 36 (2012):1-30. (with S. Elias).
  • "Social Justice and Sociology: Agendas for the Twenty-First Century," American Sociological Review 66 (February 2001):1-20.
  • "Using Racial and Ethnic Concepts: The Critical Case of Very Young Children," American Sociological Review 61 (October 1996):779-793. (with D. Van Ausdale).
  • "The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Places," American Sociological Review 56 (February 1991):101-116.

Recent Public Contributions[edit]

In 2007, Feagin along with Jessie Daniels at Hunter College in NYC [23] launched Racism Review[23] a website designed to provide a credible and reliable source of information for journalists, students and members of the general public who are seeking solid evidence-based research and analysis of “race,” racism, ethnicity, and immigration issues, especially as they undergird and shape U.S. society within a global setting.

Professional experience[edit]

Previous Positions[edit]

  • Graduate Research Professor, University of Florida, 1990–2004
  • Professor of Sociology, University of Texas (Austin), 1975–1990
  • Scholar-in-Residence, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1974–1975
  • Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas (Austin), 1970–1974
  • Assistant Professor, University of California (Riverside), 1966–1970


  • American Sociological Association
  • Sociologists for Women in Society
  • Association of Black Sociologists
  • Sociologists without Borders

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Nomination for Pulitzer Prize (Ghetto Revolts)
  • Scholar-in-Residence, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1974–1975.
  • Sociological Research Association, 1986–present.
  • Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholar (Baylor University)
  • Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Human Rights Book Award, 1995 (Living with Racism)
  • Gustavus Myers Center Outstanding Human Rights Book Award, 1996 (White Racism: The Basics)
  • American Sociological Association, Oliver C. Cox Book Award, 1996 (White Racism: The Basics)
  • University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, 1997–1999
  • Honorary Life Member, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, 1999
  • Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Lifetime Contribution to Community and Urban Sociology, 2000
  • Special Award, Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, for Racist America and lifetime of work in racial and ethnic relations, 2002
  • Choice award for Liberation Sociology as one of the best books of 2002
  • ASA Section’s Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award named for Joe Feagin (2003)
  • University of Illinois Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society, Symposium on the Research and Contributions of Joe Feagin (April 2004).
  • Choice award for White Men on Race as one of the best books of 2003.
  • Sociologists without Borders (SSF) Distinguished Professor (2005)
  • Harvard Alumni Association (HDS) Rabbi Martin Katzenstein Award (2006)
  • Sociologists without Borders (SSF), the Richard Wright Award (2006)
  • Center for Healing of Racism Ally Award (2006)
  • Fellow, Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, Stanford University, 2006-
  • Butler A. Jones lecture, Cleveland State University (2007)
  • Soka Gakkai International-USA Social Justice Award (2012)
  • Arthur Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award, American Association for Affirmative Action (2013)
  • ASA Section on Racial & Ethnic Minorities' Founder's Award for Scholarship & Service (2013)
  • “Top Professor” (Lifetime Achievement) Award, Affordable-Colleges-Online.Org (2013)
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, American Sociological Association (2013)
  • Distinguished Professor, Texas A&M University (Spring 2014)

Administrative and editorial positions[edit]

  • Vice-President, Society for Study of Social Problems, 1986–87
  • Chair, ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, 1994–1995
  • Member of Council, American Sociological Association, 1995–2000
  • Editorial Board, Comparative Urban and Community Research
  • Editorial Board, Sage Racial and Ethnic Relations Series
  • Editorial Board, Race and Society
  • Governing Board, Southern Regional Council, 1997–1998
  • President, American Sociological Association, 1999–2000
  • Editor, Perspectives on a Multiracial America, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003–present
  • Editor, New Critical Viewpoints Series, Paradigm Books, 2010–Present


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  2. ^ "Joe Feagin". 
  3. ^ Texas A&M Faculty Bio
  4. ^ Profile of the President Joe R. Feagin
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  23. ^ a b About Racism Review