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Jovonne J. Bickerstaff

Graduate Student in Sociology


Jovonne J. Bickerstaff

Currently a doctoral candidate in Harvard’s sociology department, Bickerstaff is an alumna of MIT (BS Creative Writing; BS Urban Studies & Planning, 2002) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil Social Psychology, 2005). A former Fulbright fellow (2003–2004) and Cambridge Gates Scholar, she is currently a Ford fellow and NSF fellow. Bickerstaff’s dissertation examines the endurance of African American couples—married and cohabiting, across classes—focusing on their routine and exceptional maintenance of interpersonal relations and how their schemas for gender roles and intimate unions draw on multiple raced and/or classed gender cultures (familial, peer, religious, popular, etc). Her previous research examined implicit racialization of French identity and how racialized representations of Frenchness impact perceptions of equality and opportunity among first-generation French blacks of Sub-Saharan African origin (i.e. second-generation immigrants).


  • Graduate Student in the Sociology Department, Harvard University