Ariela Schachter

Professor of Sociology

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University in 2016 and my B.A. from Rice University in 2009. My research focuses on immigration, race relations, and inequality in the United States, and primarily uses experimental and causal inference methods. My work has been published in leading sociology journals, including the American Sociological ReviewSocial Forces, and Social Problems. I have won multiple awards, including the Louis Wirth Best Article Award from the International Migration Section of the American Sociological Association. 

I am currently working on three main areas of research:

Public Attitudes Towards Immigrants

I explore how native-born Americans, and particularly non-Hispanic Whites, draw social and symbolic boundaries around immigrants and their descendants. In much of my work I focus on how racial/ethnic status, legal status, and other key characteristics shape how native-born Americans think about individual immigrants. Some of my on-going work in this area (with John Kuk) considers the political and geographic implications of non-Hispanic Whites’ attitudes towards immigrants. In other work, published in American Sociological Review, I focus on the implications of native-born Americans’ attitudes for the incorporation and treatment of immigrants and their descendants. In a new paper, forthcoming in American Sociological Review (with René Flores) I explore how native-born Americans participate in the social construction of immigrants’ legal status.

Racial/Ethnic Relations

Decades of high levels of immigration, primarily from Latin America and Asia, have led to an increasingly diverse United States. My work on racial/ethnic relations explores various dimensions of this immigration-driven diversity. In one paper, recently published in the Journal of Experimenal Political Science (with Mackenzie Israel-Trummel), I look at the mechanisms of Black-Latino political commonality. In another project, published in Social Forces, I examine the conditions which promote and hinder panethnic Asian-American identification among immigrants from India. In an on-going project, I use survey experiments to test how immigrant status interacts with racial/ethnic categories to (re)-shape racial/ethnic stereotypes and social distance among groups. Finally, I recently started a new project (with René Flores and Neda Maghbouleh) that uses an original survey experiment to compare how different dimensions of race/ethnicity shape racial categorization and conceptions of ‘foreignness’.

Neighborhood Selection and Residential Inequality

I consider neighborhood selection processes and the residential inequality associated with them to be both a source and consequence of racial/ethnic and immigrant-native-born relations. In one paper (with Gregory Sharp and Rachel Kimbro), I examine how immigration shapes Latinos’ satisfaction with their neighborhoods. I also recently started a new project (with Max Besbris and John Kuk) using computational text analysis techniques and survey experiments to explore rental market dynamics and their implications for immigrant and racial/ethnic residential segregation and inequality.

For more information about my research, including access to replication data and code, please see the “Publications” page. For more information about my new project on rental market dynamics, please see the “Neighborhood Branding Project” page.