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Caroline Hanley

I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at William & Mary. My research examines earnings inequality and economic restructuring in the United States. I am especially interested in sources of change in the economic and social relations that organize work, seeking to understand what we can learn from the past to build better and more equitable opportunities in the future.

To view my CV click here.

Work in Black and White (Russell Sage Foundation, December 2022) is available to order here.

About me

Growing up in central Maine in the 1980s it was hard to ignore the economic changes that scholars now refer to as postindustrial economic restructuring. In my family we talked a lot about these changes– from the layoffs, plant closings, and global mergers that transformed the pulp and paper industry, to the new technologies that intensified work in hospital labs, to the way our local tourist economy highlighted the inequalities of the new economy. We also talked about the way collective action and public policy could be used to make things better.

My teachers in the local public school system set me on a course to continue studying the social and economic changes I observed while growing up. I earned a B.A. in Sociology from Wellesley College in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006.

Here are excerpts from my first report on state and local economic development policy, an elementary school project on South Carolina (c. 1985) that apparently piqued my interest in local business climates.