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 Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and PLoS One. It also has been recognized with multiple article awards, and gained attention from national media outlets, including NPR (twice) and The Colbert Report.