Wendy D. Roth, Ph.D.

Photo of Wendy Roth

Professor of SociologyGraduate Chair in Sociology


McNeil 252


Twitter: @WendyRothSoc


 Ph.D., Sociology & Social Policy, Harvard University, 2006
 M.Phil., Sociology, Oxford University, 1997
 B.A., Sociology, Yale University, 1995

Research Interests

Wendy D. Roth is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses primarily on how social processes challenge racial and ethnic boundaries and transform classification systems, as well as how these processes change conceptions of the nature of race. Her book, Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race (Stanford University Press 2012) examines how immigration changes cultural concepts of race, not only for the migrants themselves, but also for their host society, and for the societies they left behind. Her current work focuses on how genetic ancestry testing influences racial and ethnic identities, conceptions of race, racial attitudes, and racial interactions.

She has received several awards for her research, including the 2007 American Sociological Association Outstanding Dissertation Award, the 2011 Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, the 2016 Canadian Sociological Association Early Career Scholar Award, and a 2017 Killam Faculty Research Fellowship. She has also served as Chair of the ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities.


Selected Publications

Selected journal articles

Roth, Wendy D. and Şule Yaylacı. 2024. “Genetic Options and Constraints: How Genetic Ancestry Tests Change Ethnic and Racial Identities.” American Journal of Sociology 129(4): 1172-1215. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/728819

Hu, Olivia, Xiang Lu, and Wendy D. Roth, “Linking Genes and Race: Racial Conceptualization among Genetic Ancestry Test-Takers.” Ethnic & Racial Studies. Online first. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2023.2224871  

Roth, Wendy D., Elena van Stee, and Alejandra Regla-Vargas. Forthcoming 2023. “Conceptualizations of Race: Essentialism and Constructivism.” Annual Review of Sociology 49: 39-58.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-031021-034017

Roth, Wendy D., Patricio Solís, and Christina Sue. 2022. “Beyond Money Whitening: Racialized Hierarchies and Socioeconomic Escalators in Mexico” American Sociological Review 87(5): 827-859. https://doi.org/10.1177/00031224221119803

Roth, Wendy D., Rochelle Côte, and Jasmyne Eastmond. 2022. “Bridging Boundaries? The Effect of Genetic Ancestry Testing on Ties across Racial Groups?” Social Problems: Online first.  https://academic.oup.com/socpro/advance-article/doi/10.1093/socpro/spab082/6497630?guestAccessKey=012e0a36-598f-4209-97a1-e1f9d2efd0cc

Roth, Wendy D. and Alexandra Marin. 2021. “The Role of Skin Color in Latino Social Networks: Color Homophily in Sending and Receiving Societies.” Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, 7(2): 175-193. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649220940346

Roth, Wendy D., Şule Yaylacı, Kaitlin Jaffe, Lindsey Richardson. 2020 (Jan. 29). “Do Genetic Ancestry Tests Increase Racial Essentialism? Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial.” PLoS ONE 15(1):   e0227399. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227399

Yaylaci, Şule, Wendy D. Roth, and Kaitlyn Jaffe. 2019. “Measuring Racial Essentialism in the Genomic Era: The Genetic Essentialism Scale for Race (GESR).” Current Psychology  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-019-00311-z

Roth, Wendy D. and Biorn Ivemark. 2018. “Genetic Options: The Impact of Genetic Ancestry Testing on Ethnic and Racial Identities.” American Journal of Sociology 124(1): 150-184. https://doi.org/10.1086/697487

Roth, Wendy D. 2018. “Establishing the Denominator: The Challenges of Measuring Multiracial, Hispanic, and Native American Populations.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 677(1): 48-56. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0002716218756818

Roth, Wendy D. 2018. “Unsettled Identities Amid Settled Classifications? Toward a Sociology of Racial Appraisals.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 41(6): 1093-1112. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01419870.2018.1417616

Roth, Wendy D. 2016. “The Multiple Dimensions of Race.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 39(8): 1310-1338. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01419870.2016.1140793

Roth, Wendy D. and Nadia Y. Kim. 2013. “Relocating Prejudice: A Transnational Approach to Understanding Immigrants’ Racial Attitudes.” International Migration Review 47(2): 330-373. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/imre.12028/abstract

Roth, Wendy D., Marc-David Seidel, Dennis Ma, and Eiston Lo. 2012. “In and Out of the Ethnic Economy:  A Longitudinal Analysis of Ethnic Networks and Pathways to Economic Success across Immigrant Categories.” International Migration Review 46(2): 310-360. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2012.00889.x

Roth, Wendy D. 2010. “Racial Mismatch: The Divergence Between Form and Function in Data for Monitoring Racial Discrimination of Hispanics.” Social Science Quarterly 91(5): 1288-1311. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2010.00732.x

Roth, Wendy D. 2009. “‘Latino Before the World:’ The Transnational Extension of Panethnicity.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 32(6): 927-947. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/01419870802245042

Roth, Wendy D. 2005. “The End of the One-Drop Rule? Labeling of Multiracial Children in Black Intermarriages.” Sociological Forum, 20(1):35-67. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11206-005-1897-0

Roth, Wendy D. and Jal D. Mehta. 2002. “The Rashomon Effect: Combining Positivist and Interpretive Approaches in the Analysis of Contested Events.” Sociological Methods and Research, 31(2):131-173. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0049124102031002002

Books and edited volumes:

Syed, Moin, Enrique Neblett, and Wendy D. Roth, editors. 2019. “Ethnic and Racial Identity Development from an Interdisciplinary Perspective” Emerging Adulthood (special issue), 7(2). https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/eaxa/7/2

Roth, Wendy D., Mary E. Campbell, and Jenifer Bratter, editors. 2016. "Measuring the Diverging Components of Race in Multiracial America." American Behavioral Scientist (special issue), 60(4). https://journals.sagepub.com/toc/abs/60/4

Roth, Wendy D. 2012. Race Migrations: Latinos and the Cultural Transformation of Race. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=16798

Newman, Katherine S., Cybelle Fox, David Harding, Jal Mehta, and Wendy Roth. 2004. Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings. New York: Basic Books. https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/katherine-s-newman/rampage/9780786722372/ 

CV (file)