Nora Taplin-Kaguru, Ph.D.

Assistant professor of sociology/anthropology

Email:[email protected]

Department: African and African American Studies
Social Services
Media and Communications

Location: Landrum Bolling Center Room 331
801 National Road
Richmond, Indiana 47374

About me

I am a sociologist with research interests in urban sociology, race, housing and social media. I earned my B.A. from Swarthmore College where I majored in Sociology and Anthropology. My B.A. thesis was on mobilities and the politics of automobiles. From there, I decided to continue my studies in Sociology at the University of Chicago where I earned my Ph.D.

In Chicago, my interest in urban issues deepened. In one project, I looked at the relationship between urban space and social media. Ultimately, I developed a focus on the persistent problem of race segregation. I am currently completing a book based on my dissertation research about how working-class African Americans navigate the homebuying process in a racially segregated metropolitan area.

My enjoy dancing and cooking and my favorite activity is traveling.

I teach at Earlham because I love working at a place where I can focus on teaching engaging classes that push students to think critically about the social world. Earlham gives me the resources and time to be creative about pedagogy and constantly improve as a teacher.


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • M.A., University of Chicago
  • B.A., Swarthmore College

Professional memberships

Research projects

Grasping for the American Dream: Racial Segregation, Social Mobility, and Homeownership

This project examines how lower-middle-class African American homebuyers understand their own agency in pursuing homeownership within the structure of racial segregation. It is based on in-depth interviews with sixty-eight African American aspiring homebuyers in the Chicago metropolitan area and follow-up data collected over the course of a year and a half. Ultimately, homeownership continues to be pursued by African Americans despite higher risks and lower returns than other Americans because it represents the attainment of the American dream of freedom and equality.

Scholarly interest

  • Race
  • Urban Sociology
  • Housing
  • Sociology of Technology
  • Qualitative Methods

Published works

Taplin-Kaguru, Nora. “Mobile but Stuck: Multigenerational Neighborhood Decline and Housing Search Strategies.” City and Community. (forthcoming).

Taplin-Kaguru, Nora. 2016. “The Flaneurs and the Regulars of Foursquare: Negotiating New Social Norms on Location-Based Online Social Networks.” Sociological Imagination 52:1.