Rachael Woldoff


Rachael Woldoff

Associate Professor


319 Knapp Hall


Rachael A. Woldoff is an associate professor of Sociology at West Virginia University. She 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 intraracial 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.

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

  • SocA 101 Introduction to Sociology
  • SocA 233 Juvenile Delinquency
  • SocA 389 Writing in Sociology and Anthropology
  • SocA 444 Neighborhoods and Crime
  • SocA 470 Cities and Urban Life
  • SocA 488 The Capstone Experience
  • SocA 510 Principles of Research Design