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Department of Sociology

Faculty and Staff Directory

Jason L. Cummings

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Sociology and African American Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-777-1860

Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
African American Studies Program
Carolina Consortium of Health, Inequalities, and Populations (CHIP)

Jason Cummings


Dr. Cummings obtained his PhD from Indiana University (2013). His work investigates the socio-historical and present-day consequences of racism, racial (white) privilege, racial stratification and their manifold contribution to racial and ethnic differentials in health/well-being. His work is undergirded by two theoretical perspectives (e.g. intersectionality and Critical Race Theory) and spans multiple areas, including interrogating: (1) how racial and gender differentials in health/well-being in the U.S. have changed since the 1970s and the social, political and economic origins of these changes in prior decades and during the post-recession/Obama era; and (2) whether racial "misclassification" or socially-assigned race (i.e. being perceived as White by others) influences (benefits) the socioeconomic and health status of persons of color. Dr. Cummings holds a joint appointment with African-American Studies and is a faculty-affiliate of the Carolina Consortium of Health, Inequalities, and Populations (CHIP). 


Substantive research interests: Medical Sociology, Mental Health, Well-Being, Race/Ethnicity, Stratification/Inequality

Department cluster: Population and Health, Institutions and Inequalities

Research overview:

How are social inequalities and social relations in the United States changing over time, and what are the implications of these changes for health/well-being disparities at the intersection of gender, race and class?

Current projects:

  • Racial and Gender Health/Well-Being Inequalities in United States, 1972-2016: Patterns and Explanations
  • The Health Paradox of the Black Middle Class, Discrimination and Mental/Physical Health
  • Racial (Mis)classification and Stratification Among Latina/os in the BRFSS 2012-2014
  • Emotional and Physical Reactions to Unfair Race-Based Treatment


Intro to Sociology (SOCY 101), Race and Ethnic Relations (SOCY 355/AFAM 355), Race, Racism and Society (SOCY 698), Intro to African-American Studies (AFAM 201), and African-American and Women’s Health Issues (AFAM 397/SOCY398/WGST398). 

Selected Publications

Cummings, Jason L. 2019. “Assessing U.S. Racial and Gender Differences in Happiness, 1972-2016: An Intersectional Approach” Journal of Happiness Studies: 1-24.

White, Kellee, Jourdyn Lawrence, Jason L. Cummings and Calley Fisk. 2019. “Emotional and Physical Reactions to Perceived Discrimination, Language Preference and Health-Related Quality of Life among Latinos and Whites.” Quality of Life Research. 1-13.

Lawrence, Jourdyn A.*, Kellee White, Jason L. Cummings, James W. Hardin, Myriam E. Torres. 2019. “Socially Assigned Race and Diabetes: Findings from the Arizona Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2013-2014.” Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. 1-9.

Cummings, Jason L.  2017. “Race and Physical Health.” The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. London: Wiley-Blackwell.  

Cummings, Jason L.  2017. “Race and Mental Health.” The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. London: Wiley-Blackwell.  

Jackson, Pamela Braboy and Jason L. Cummings. 2011. “Health Disparities and the Black Middle Class Paradox: Overview, Empirical Investigation, and Discussion.” The Handbook of the Sociology of Health, Illness, & Healing: Blueprint for the 21stCentury, edited by Bernice Pescosolido, Jack Martin, Jane McLeod, and Anne Rogers. New York: Springer Publishers.

Cummings, Jason L. and Pamela Braboy Jackson. 2008. “Race, Gender and SES Disparities in Self-Assessed Health 1974-2004.” Research on Aging. 2:137-167

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.