Sarah Spell

Dissertation Title: 
“Comparing Intimacy: Are Hook Ups the Site of Inequality?”
Faculty Advisors: 
Camille Charles (Chair), Kristen Harknett, Hyunjoon Park
Research Interests: 

I study inequality by examining the perceptions of and experiences in romantic relationships.


I am a PhD candidate with broad research interests in the sociology of race and ethnicity with a focus on relationships and education. My current research focuses on marriage and hooking up as measures of social distance and inequality between racial and ethnic groups in the United States. My dissertation plans to explore racial inequality within interracial hookups using interview data and survey data from the Online College Social Life Survey. In previous work, using data from the Malawi Longitudinal Study of Family and Health, I addressed the relationship between educational attainment and household wealth by looking at the mechanism of marriage for women in rural Malawi.

Contact Information: 

University of Pennsylvania
3718 Locust Walk
McNeil Building Room 113
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6233