Cecilia Ridgeway

Cecilia L. Ridgeway is the Lucie Stern Professor of Social Sciences in the Sociology Department at Stanford University. She is also the 2012-13 President of the American Sociological Association.  She is particularly interested in the role that social hierarchies in everyday social relations play in the larger processes of stratification and inequality in a society.   Recent projects have included the development and empirical tests of status construction theory, which is a theory about the power of interactional contexts to create and spread status beliefs about social differences.  Examples of this work can be found in papers such as “How Easily Do Social Differences Become Status Distinctions? Gender Matters,” (American Sociological Review, 2009), “Consensus and the Emergence of Status Beliefs (Social Forces 2006), “Creating and Spreading Status Beliefs” (American Journal of Sociology, 2000), “How Do Status Beliefs Develop? The Role of Resources and Interaction (American Sociological Review, 1998), and “The Social Construction of Status Value: Gender and Other Nominal Characteristics” (Social Forces, 1991).

            Another ongoing project addresses the role of interactional processes in preserving gender inequality despite major changes in the socioeconomic organization of society.  A recent book on this topic is Framed By Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2011).  A current related paper is:  “Intersecting Cultural Beliefs and Social Relations: Gender, Race, and Class Binds and Freedoms” (manuscript, 2012). Examples of other publications on social hierarchies, status, and gender inequality include “Framed Before We Know It: How Gender Shapes Social Relations.” (Gender & Society, 2009); “Sociological Approaches to Sex Discrimination” (2007), “Motherhood as a Status Characteristic” (Journal of Social Issues, 2004), “Unpacking the Gender System: A Theoretical Perspective on Cultural Beliefs and Social Relations” (Gender & Society, 2004)“Gender, Status, and Leadership” (Journal of Social Issues, 2001), “Interaction and the Conservation of Gender Inequality” (American Sociological Review, 1997), and Gender, Interaction, and Inequality (Springer-Verlag, 1992).

            Newer projects include 1) developing and testing a theoretical analysis of the role of social coordination and accountability in the use of status information (“It’s the Conventional Thought that Counts: How Third Order Inference Produces Status Advantage”- manuscript, 2012);  2) a theoretical account of the processes that bind low status members to a group.


Curriculum Vitæ

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Social Psychology, Gender Stratification, Group Processes, Status Processes, Sociology of Culture.


Recent Books:


  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway. Framed by Gender: How Gender Inequality Persists in the Modern World. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

2012 Outstanding Recent Contribution Award, Social Psychology Section, American Sociological Association


Recent Papers:


  • Brent Simpson, Robb Willer, and Cecilia L. Ridgeway. “Status Hierarchies and the Organization of Collective Action.”  Sociological Theory, 2012, 30(3-Sept): 149-166.


  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway and Susan R. Fisk.  “Class Rules, Status Dynamics, and Gateway Interactions.”  Pp. 131-151 in Facing Social Class: Social Psychology of Social Class, edited by S. T. Fiske and H. R. Markus. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2012.
  • Ya-Ru Chen, Randall Peterson, Damon Phillips, and Cecilia Ridgeway.   “Bringing Status Back to the Table: Attaining, Maintaining, and Experiencing Status in Organizations and Markets.”  Organizational Science, 2012, 23 (2-Apr):299-307.
  • Wendy Wood and Cecilia L. Ridgeway.  “Gender: An Interdisciplinary Perspective.”  Social Psychology Quarterly, 2010, 73 (4-Dec): 334-339.
  • Noah Mark, Lynn Smith-Lovin, and Cecilia L. Ridgeway.  “Why Do Nominal Characteristics Acquire Status Value? A Minimal Explanation for Status Construction.”  American Journal of Sociology, 2009, 115 (3-Nov):832-862.
  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway. “Framed Before We Know It: How Gender Shapes Social Relations.” Gender & Society, 2009, 23(2-Apr):145-160.
  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway, Kristen Backor, Yan E. Li, Justine E. Tinkler, and Kristan G. Erickson. “How Easily Does a Social Difference Become a Status Distinction: Gender Matters.” American Sociological Review, 2009, 74(1-Feb):44-62.
  • David L. Faigman, Nilanjana Dasgupta, and Cecilia L. Ridgeway. “A Matter of Fit” The Law of Discrimination and the Science of Implicit Bias.” Hasting Law Journal, 2008, 59(6-June):1389-1434.
  • Cecilia L. Ridgeway and Paula England. “Sociological Approaches to Sex Discrimination in Employment.” Pp. 189-211 in Sex Discrimination in the Workplace: Multidisciplinary Perspectives, edited by F. J. Crosby, M. S. Stockdale, and A. S. Ropp. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.

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