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Elizabeth Cole

Professor of Women’s Studies, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Psychology, College of Literature, Science and the Arts

Dr. Cole is a Professor in the Women’s Studies and Psychology Departments at the University of Michigan. She also has an unbudgeted appointment with the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, and an affiliation with the Personality and Social Contexts Area.

Cole’s research is at the intersection of psychology and women’s studies, and works to understand the social construction of categories like gender, race and social class. Feminist theorists have long argued that these categories are not natural or essential, but instead derive meaning from specific social and cultural practices and beliefs that vary in different times and places. She explores questions such as: How do the categories mutually construct each other and work together to shape outcomes such as well being or political attitudes? How do people experience these social categories as parts of their identities? How do members of different groups perceive these categories of difference, and how are these perceptions related to prejudice? To address these questions, Cole uses both qualitative and quantitative methods. Her past projects have explored topics such as: political participation among women who graduated from college during the late 1960s, the role of social class identity in women’s attitudes towards abortion, and the processes through which race and gender consciousness develop among college students.

Ph.D. University of Michigan