Carla Shedd
Position: Associate Professor
Programs: Sociology | Urban Education
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University
Research Interests: Race and ethnicity, social inequality, urban education, criminology and criminal justice, urban policy, qualitative, mixed methods
Carla Shedd is a sociologist who studies timely issues related to criminal justice; race, law, and society; social inequality; and urban policy. Her current research on New York City’s juvenile justice system assesses the extent to which formative and reformative social institutions (such as schools and juvenile justice courts) shape the perceptions, experiences, and outcomes of urban adolescents. Shedd is passionate about illuminating the plight of urban adolescents forced to confront institutional paradoxes every day: a school system that can educate or criminalize them, a police department that can protect or harass them, and a justice system that can rehabilitate or damage them further.
In 2015, Shedd published Unequal City: Race, Schools, and Perceptions of Injustice (Russell Sage Foundation), which examines the symbiosis between public school systems and the criminal justice system, specifically highlighting the racially stratified social and physical terrain that youth traverse between home and school in Chicago. The book earned accolades from several notable scholarly associations, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems’ 2015 C. Wright Mills Award and the American Sociological Association’s Section on Race, Gender, and Class’s 2016 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award. Five years after its publication, Unequal City was named to ZORA Magazine’s The ZORA Canon — in honor of author Zora Neale Hurston — a comprehensive list of the top 100 masterworks by African American women authors. Along with Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, and 96 other distinguished writers, Shedd was recognized for her contribution to a rich national tradition that stretches back 160 years.
Shedd’s next book project, When Protection and Punishment Collide: America’s Juvenile Court System and the Carceral Continuum, extends her exploration of the “carceral continuum.” Drawing on one-of-a-kind empirical data, Shedd interrogates the deftly intertwined contexts of New York City schools, neighborhoods, and juvenile justice courts in this dynamic moment of NYC public policy shifts (encompassing movements such as school segregation protests, “Raise the Age,” and “Close Rikers”).
Shedd joined The Graduate Center from Columbia University, where she was an assistant professor of sociology and African American studies.
  • Shedd, Carla. Forthcoming. Book Review, Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools by Freeden Blume Oeur. Minneapolis: UMinn Press, 2018.
  • Shedd, Carla. 2017. “From Perceiving Injustice to Achieving Racial Justice: Interrogating the Impact of Racial Brokers on Racial Antagonism & Racial Reconciliation,” in edited volume, On the Conditions of Racial Reconciliation, Eds. Austin Sarat & Charles Ogletree, New York: NYU Press.
  • Shedd, Carla. Spring 2015. “The Legacy Effect: Charting the Next Iteration of the Carceral State.” Book Review. The Black Child-Savers by Geoff K. Ward & A Theory of African American Offending by Unnever & Gabiddon. Du Bois Review, 12.1.
  • Shedd, Carla. 2012. “What about the Other 99%: The Broader Impact of Street Stops on Minority Communities” Urban Institute Research Paper Series, pp. 24-28.
  • Shedd, Carla. 2011. “Countering the Carceral Continuum: The Legacy of Mass Incarceration” Journal of Criminology & Public Policy, 10(3):865-871.
  • Shedd, Carla. 2010. Book Review, Race and Police Brutality: Roots of an Urban Dilemma by Malcolm D. Holmes and Brad W. Smith, Contemporary Sociology, 39(1):43-44.
  • Shedd, Carla and John Hagan. 2006. “Toward a Developmental and Comparative Conflict Theory of Race, Ethnicity, and Perceptions of Criminal Injustice.” In Peterson, Krivo, and Hagan (Eds.) The Many Colors of Crime: Inequalities of Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America. New York: NYU Press, pp. 313-333.
  • Hagan, John, Carla Shedd, and Monique R. Payne. 2005. “Race, Ethnicity, and Youth Perceptions of Criminal Injustice.” American Sociological Review, 70(June):381-407.
  • Hagan, John and Carla Shedd. 2005. “A Socio-Legal Conflict Theory of Perceptions of Criminal Injustice,” The University of Chicago Legal Forum, pp. 261-288.
  • Hagan, John, Paul Hirschfield, and Carla Shedd. 2003. “Shooting at Tilden High: Causes and Consequences” in Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence. National Academies Press, pp. 163-197.
  • Hagan, John, Paul Hirschfield, and Carla Shedd. 2002. “First and Last Words: Apprehending the Social and Legal Facts of an Urban High School Shooting.” Sociological Methods & Research 31(2):218- 254.
Professional Affiliations and Memberships
  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Society of Criminology
  • American Sociological Association
  • Association of Black Sociologists
  • Eastern Sociological Society
  • Law and Society Association
  • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Race and Architecture Advisory Board
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems
Awards [2015-present]
  • Visiting Professorship, The Paris Institute of Political Studies (SciencesPo), Labortoire Interdisciplinaire D’Evaluation Des Politiques Publiques-LIEPP (three weeks, faculty liaison, Marco Oberti) (Fall 2020)
  • Honorable Mention, Distinguished Book Award Section on Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility, American Sociological Association (2017)
  • Finalist, Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program, Junior Faculty Nominee (university-wide competition for national competition), Columbia University (November 2016)
  • C. Wright Mills Book Award Winner Society for the Study of Social Problems (top book on social inequality chosen from a field of 94 nominations) (2016)
  • Distinguished Book Award Section on Race, Class, and Gender, American Sociological Association (2016)
  • Lenfest Junior Faculty Development Grant, Columbia University (Fall 2016)
  • Scholar-in-Residence, Vera Institute of Justice, New York City (Spring 2015)
Courses Taught
  • Educational Policy (seminar)
  • Race, Place, and Inequality (seminar)
  • Tracking the Educational/Carceral Continuum (research practicum)
  • Doctoral Proseminar (core colloquium)

Photo Credit: B. Alper