Mahala Stewart, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology, was awarded a $10,000 dissertation fellowship. Mahala has a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies and a M.A. in Sociology from UMass Amherst. Throughout her graduate studies, Mahala has focused on issues of inequality within the intersections of American families and schools.
Under the guidance of her advisor, Prof. Joya Misra, Mahala’s dissertation offers a new angle for interrogating social inequalities. She focuses on schooling logics across homeschooling families and their conventionally schooled counterparts. Through intensive interviews with white and black middle-class mothers of children who home school, and go to public school, her dissertation will investigate mothers’ raced schooling logics, and how they compare across school type. Despite the recent increase in the number of homeschooling families, debates focused on schooling inequities do not interrogate the rise in homeschooling, or how the choice to homeschool relates to inequalities seen across families.