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Rachael Woldoff, Ph.D.

Professor - Sociology


Dr. Woldoff received an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the Ohio State University, specializing in crime and community. 

Dr. Woldoff’s research and publications have focused on neighborhood crime and disorder, neighborhood redevelopment, and racial/ethnic differences in residential outcomes.

Her work has appeared in Social Forces, Urban Affairs Review, and Urban Studies, her 2011 book, White Flight/Black Flight: The Dynamics of Racial Change in an American Neighborhood, is study of an urban neighborhood explores the topics of neighborhood change, mobility decisions of whites and blacks, crime and disorder, cross-racial neighboring, and intra-racial cultural conflict; it was awarded the 2013 Best Book Award from the Urban Affairs Association. The book presents a portrait of a working-class neighborhood in the aftermath of white flight, illustrating cultural clashes that accompany racial change as well as common values that transcend race, from the perspectives of three groups: white stayers, black pioneers, and “second-wave” blacks.

Dr. Woldoff has a long-standing interest race/ethnicity and urban sociology, especially neighborhood life in African American and white communities. Her high level of productivity garnered the 2012-2013 Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Researcher Award.

Her past work includes studies of racial/ethnic differences in the effects of individuals’ wealth on their neighborhood characteristics. She has also published on the topics of fear of crime, “snitching,” the role of crime in father’s lives with their children, and black students’ adjustment to rural, white universities.

Dr. Woldoff’s coauthored book, High Stakes: Big Time Sports and Downtown Redevelopment, investigates sports facilities as a form of urban redevelopment.

In her co-authored book Priced Out: Stuyvesant Town and the Loss of Middle-Class Neighborhoods (New York University Press, 2016), Dr. Woldoff, who is an Associate Editor of the ASA journal City and Community, uses ethnographic interviews with the original residents and comparative newcomers of Stuyvesant Town to take readers inside the struggle for community and affordable housing in the heart of New York City, revealing the structural forces and cultural and generational clashes unleashed when landlords seek to transition a rent-stabilized housing community to a market-rate luxury destination. 

Selected Publications

Woldoff, Rachael A. White Flight/Black Flight: The Dynamics of Racial Change in an American Neighborhood. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 

Woldoff, Rachael A. and Seth Ovadia. “Not Getting Their Money’s Worth: African American Disadvantages in Converting Income, Wealth, and Education into Residential Quality.” Urban Affairs Review 45(1): 66-91.  

Woldoff, Rachael A. "The Effects of Local Stressors on Neighborhood Attachment." Social Forces 81(1): 87-116.

Courses Taught