Department of Sociology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research interests & goals:
Karolyn Tyson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Tyson joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in July 2001 after two years as a University of North Carolina Minority Postdoctoral Fellow in the department. She received a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999 and a B.A. from Spelman College in 1991.
Dr. Tyson teaches courses on the sociology of education at the graduate and undergraduate levels, a first-year seminar on equality of educational opportunity, and graduate courses on qualitative research methods. She specializes in qualitative research focused on issues related to schooling and inequality. She is particularly interested in understanding the complex interactions between schooling processes and the achievement outcomes of black students. Currently Dr. Tyson is collaborating with a team of researchers on a multi-method, multi-site study examining issues centered on the law, rights consciousness, and legal mobilization in American secondary schools. She has recently completed a book examining how and why black students have come to equate school success with whiteness. Based on more than ten years of research, Integration Interrupted shows how the practice of curriculum tracking in the aftermath of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision contributed to students casting academic achievement as a “white thing.” Dr. Tyson is also working on a study tracing the history of racialized tracking in a suburban school district and the consequences for the district’s black students.