Skip to content Skip to navigation

Aliya Saperstein

photo of Professor Saperstein
Aliya Saperstein
Associate Professor of Sociology
Benjamin Scott Crocker Professor in Human Biology
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2008


Professor Saperstein received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California-Berkeley. In 2016, she received the Early Achievement Award from the Population Association of America. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at Sciences Po and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Her research focuses on the social processes through which people come to perceive, name, and deploy seemingly immutable categorical differences —such as race and sex—and how such processes create and maintain social inequality. Her current research projects explore several strands of this subject, including:

  • The implications of methodological decisions, especially the measurement of race/ethnicity and sex/gender in surveys, for studies of stratification and health disparities.
  • The relationship between individual-level category ambiguity or fluidity and the maintenance of group boundaries, stereotypes, and hierarchies.

This research has been published for social science audiences in the American Journal of Sociology,the Annual Review of Sociology, Demography, Gender & Societyand Ethnic and Racial Studies,among other venues, and for general science audiences in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesand PLoS One. It also has been recognized with multiple article awards, and gained attention from national media outlets, including NPR and The Colbert Report.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles & Book Chapters

Related News

May 17 2021 | Stanford News
Genetic ancestry test results shape race self-identification, Stanford researchers find People who have taken a genetic ancestry test are more likely to report multiple races when self-identifying on surveys, according to Stanford sociologists. A genetic ancestry test (GAT) can not only unearth...
Jun 6 2019 | Stanford News
Millennials are ‘canaries in the coalmine’ for toxic economic trends, say Stanford scholars A new report by Stanford scholars lays out the problems U.S. millennials face as a result of decades-long rising inequality. Problems they experience include rising mortality rates and increased poverty...