University of Massachusetts Amherst

Department of Sociology



Sharla Alegria

Sharla Alegria



Sharla Alegria’s research focuses on understanding persistent inequality in the face of widespread rejection of discrimination. She is particularly interested in the social construction, intersections, and consequences of identities such as race, gender, nation of origin, and sexuality in the labor market.

Sharla's dissertation “A Mixed Methods Analysis of the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Migration in the High-tech Workforce” asks why women’s participation in high-tech work appears to be decreasing despite considerable investment from both private companies and the U.S. government. She examines the intersections of gender, race, and nation of origin and finds a considerable gender wage gap that is mediated for some race/nationality groups but enhanced for others and different career paths for white women than other workers. The National Science Foundation, the Anita Borg Institute, and the University of Massachusetts Graduate School and Sociology Department have provided funding for Sharla’s dissertation research.


2014 Certificate of
Advanced Feminist Studies
University of Massachusetts–Amherst
2007 M.A. Sociology University of South Florida
2005 B.A. Sociology Vassar College


Sharla is part of a collaborative, multi-sited, interdisciplinary team studying Women in Science Policy in the federal government. She was a research assistant for the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education examining the paradox of high performance but low persistence of undergraduate women in Information Technology education. Before beginning work on her dissertation Sharla examined public, mostly “colorblind”, conversations about racial profiling and conducted ethnographic field work with a co-ed roller derby league.


Alegria, Sharla. 2014. “Gender, Race, and Migration in the Information Technology Workforce.” Gender & Society Blog. January 2.

Alegria, Sharla. 2014. “Constructing Racial Difference through Group Talk: An Analysis of White Focus Groups’ Discussion of Racial Profiling.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 37(2):241-60.

Alegria, Sharla. 2008. “What Are You?” in Gendering Bodies, by S. L. Crawley, L. J. Foley, and C. L. Sheehan. Lanham, MA: Rowman & Littlefield Press.



  • Evaluating Information
    Smith College
  • Quantitative Research Methods
    Smith College

TA experience

  • Gender, Sexuality, Culture
    University of Massachusetts–Amherst,
    Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Evaluating Information
    Smith College, Department of Sociology
  • Elementary Statistics
    University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Department of Sociology
  • Social Class Inequality
    University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Department of Sociology
  • Self, Society and Interpersonal Interaction
    University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Department of Sociology
  • Social Problems
    University of Massachusetts–Amherst, Department of Sociology
  • Introduction to Sociology
    University of South Florida, Department of Sociology


Department of Sociology • Thompson Hall • University of Massachusetts–Amherst, MA 01003