Junia Howell, PhD


Junia Howell is an urban sociologist whose work examines racial and socioeconomic inequality. She received her PhD in sociology from Rice University. By utilizing mix-methods and cross-national comparisons, her work illuminates how cities can be places of possibility for all residents. Her recent work has examined how urban housing and social welfare policies shape neighborhoods and perpetuate opportunity hoarding in White middle-class communities. Currently, she is working on three projects that evaluate how socioeconomic inequality is influenced by neighborhoods, the housing appraisal industry and natural disasters. Additionally, her past and current work includes methodological pieces that employ Critical Race Theory to evaluate quantitative analyses of race and inequality. Her research has appeared in Social Forces, The Sociological Quarterly and Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.

Fields of Interest:

Urban Sociology
Race and Ethnicity
Inequality and Mobility
Quantitative Methodology
Transnational Comparisons


  • PhD, Rice University

1. Neighborhood Effects on Intergenerational Mobility Around the Globe: How National Policies Shape Local Places and Their Residents Lives

2. Evaluating Place, Quantifying Race: The Housing Industry’s Role in Perpetuating Racial Inequality and Neighborhood Segregation

3. Disasters Twice Over: Natural Disasters and Socioeconomic Polarization

Howell, Junia and James R. Elliott. “Damage Done: The Longitudinal Impacts of Natural Hazards on Wealth Polarization in the United States.” Social Problems. DOI: 10.1093/socpro/spy016

Howell, Junia and Elizabeth Korver-Glenn. forthcoming. “Neighborhoods, Race, and the Twenty-First-Century Housing Appraisal Industry.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. DOI: 10. 1177/2332649218755178

Howell, Junia and Michael Emerson. forthcoming.“Preserving Racial Hierarchy amidst Changing Racial Demographics: How Neighbourhood Racial Preferences Are Changing While Maintaining Segregation.” Ethnic and Racial Studies. DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1398833

Elliott, James R. and Junia Howell. 2017. “Beyond Disasters: A Longitudinal Analysis of Natural Hazards’ Unequal Impacts on Residential Instability.” Social Forces. 95(3): 1181-1207. DOI: 10.1093/sf/sow086

Howell, Junia and Michael Emerson. 2017. “So What ‘Should’ We Use? Evaluating the Impact of Five Racial Measures on Markers of Social Inequality.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. 3(1):14-30.DOI: 10.1177/2332649216648465

Urban Sociology (0444)