Dr. Carla Shedd
Assistant Professor, Sociology and African American Studies

Carla Shedd is Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Columbia University.  Shedd received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her A.B. in Economics and African American Studies from Smith College.  Her research and teaching interests focus on: crime and criminal justice; race and ethnicity; law and society; social inequality; and urban sociology. Shedd is passionate about illuminating the plight of urban adolescents who each day confront the paradoxes of: a school system that can work to educate or criminalize them; a police department that can work to protect or harass them; and a justice system that can work to rehabilitate or damage them further.

Shedd’s first book, Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice (October 2015, Russell Sage), is the winner of multiple academic awards, including the prestigious C. Wright Mills Award, which is given to the top social-science book in the field of social inequality. Unequal City uses the experiences of youth, particularly their interactions with teachers, police, and parents, to uncover how they shape adolescents’ perceptions of themselves and their wider social worlds. Unequal City also examines the driving forces behind and the consequences of policies that have intricately linked the public school system and the criminal justice system.

Shedd’s current research focuses on New York City’s juvenile justice system investigating how young people’s linked institutional experiences influence their placement on and movement along the carceral continuum. This research will be the foundation of her second book project, The Protection is the Punishment: Reconciling the Peril and Promise of America’s Juvenile Court System. 

Shedd has been published in various academic journals and edited book volumes.  She has also received numerous competitive fellowships and grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Consortium on Violence Research, Columbia University, and Northwestern University.

Shedd’s work has been featured on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show; MSNBC’s http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-perry/watch/video-raises-questions-a… “>Melissa Harris-Perry, and All In with Chris Hayes; C-SPAN’s Washington Journal; NY1’s Inside City Hall; and has been written about in USA Today, NPR-ED, NBCNews.Com, Atlantic’s City Lab, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Chicago Magazine, Salon.com, and other major outlets.