Ryan Parsons

Graduate Prize Fellow
Email Address: 

Ryan Parsons is a seventh year PhD student in the sociology and social policy program at Princeton. His work concerns social and economic mobility for families in persistently poor communities in the United States South, a region marked by a long history of population decline and structural racism. The dissertation draws on a mixture of ethnographic and archival data about a predominantly Black community in the Mississippi Delta to describe the barriers to upward mobility that pattern life there. 

The dissertation is part of a larger research agenda that investigates how rural and marginalized communities adapt to social change and stratification. Past work investigated how rapid urbanization has produced ethnic and spatial stratification in southwest China. 

Prior to enrolling at Princeton, Parsons received BAs in international studies and Chinese (summa cum laude, University of Mississippi) and an MPhil in development studies (University of Cambridge).