Sociology

Lesa Johnson

Assistant Professor

I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in 2016. My research and teaching specialties are Social Psychology, Race and Ethnicity, and Stratification/Social Inequality. I have been teaching college-level courses Sociology courses for five years. I am most experienced with teaching Ethnic and Race Relations (SOCI 350). I teach this course from the sociological psychology perspective of Intergroup Relations, and from the social inequality perspective which focuses on access to vital resources (or lack thereof). I also teach Self and Society (SOCI 360), which is a sociological psychology course focusing on the development of self and self-presentation, group processes, social movements, and how social structure informs culture, behavior, and personality. Other courses planned for 2018 are the Sociology of African Americans, and the Life Course Perspective.

I have conducted research on the social support and mental health of Black American and Black Caribbean women by socioeconomic status, on the social support and economic mobility prospects of Black American and South Sudanese women in the U.S., and on the social justice initiatives of university students from marginalized backgrounds at a predominately-white institution (PWI). Currently, I conduct participatory action research with two marginalized communities in Chico and surrounding areas. The first focuses on social capital utilization in the Hmong community to preserve cultural heritage while obtaining economic mobility. This project focuses on relationships between 1st generation immigrant parents and their offspring. The second uses two Freedom Schools - from Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter movements - to preserve and improve Black students’ community esteem by addressing educational inequalities, embracing ancestral resilience, and improving academic identity salience. This project is undertaken in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter Sacramento organization.