Simone Ispa-Landa

Simone Ispa-Landa

Assistant Professor, Human Development and Social Policy


Simone Ispa-Landa’s research examines the processes that reproduce and magnify social exclusion, as well as the ways in which subordinate individuals and groups make sense of, and seek to combat, disadvantaged statuses. Much of her work investigates how people in stigmatized communities understand dominant ideologies. She has studied these topics within the context of an urban-to-suburban racial integration program and an organization that offers legal services to those with criminal record histories. 

Drawing on qualitative research methods, Dr. Ispa-Landa has analyzed how race and gender hierarchies constrain Black adolescents’ social roles within affluent, majority-White suburban schools  and Black adolescents’ interpretations of the socialization processes within their families. Capitalizing on a comparative research design, she has also pinpointed several factors that prompt Black students to classify schools as "White" or "Black" spaces. Other work investigates the power of the visible criminal record to damage ex-arrestees, regardless of whether they have experienced extensive or minor criminal justice contact. In a related project, she identifies the emotion management techniques that individuals use to cope with the collateral consequences of their past criminal justice contact.

Dr. Ispa-Landa holds a PhD in sociology from Harvard University. The National Science Foundation and the Spencer Foundation have funded her work.

Curriculum Vitae

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Selected Publications

Ispa-Landa, Simone (December, 2017). Believing in a Positive Future as a Form of Stigma Resistance: Narratives of Denied Expungement-Seekers. Deviant Behavior: In press.

Ispa-Landa, Simone (April, 2017). Racial and Gender Inequality and School Discipline: Towards a More Comprehensive View of School Policy. Social Currents: 1-7.
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Ispa-Landa, Simone (January, 2016). Legitimizing Family Management: The Role of Adolescents' Understandings of Risk. Journal of Marriage and Family.
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Ispa-Landa, Simone and Charles Loeffler (2016). Indefinite Punishment and the Criminal-Record: Stigma Reports among Expungement-seekers in Illinois. Criminology.
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Ispa-Landa, Simone and Jordan Conwell (January, 2015). Once You Go to a White School, You Kind of Adapt: Black Adolescents and the Racial Classification of Schools. Sociology of Education: 1-19.
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Ispa-Landa, Simone. (2015). Review of Inequality in the Promised Land: Race, Resources, And Suburban Schooling . American Journal of Sociology: 121(1): 292-294.

Ispa-Landa, Simone (2015). Effects of Affluent Suburban Schooling: Learning Skilled Ways of Interacting with Educational Gatekeepers in Orlando Patterson and Ethan Fosse, The Cultural Matrix: Understanding Black Youth (pp. 393-414). Harvard University Press.

Ispa-Landa, Simone (2013). Gender, Race, and Justifications for Group Exclusion: Urban Black Students Bussed to Affluent Suburban Schools. Sociology of Education: 218-233.
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Ispa-Landa, Simone (2007). Immigrants from Central and Southeastern Europe: Bulgaria, Former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Former Yugoslavia in Mary Waters, Reed Ueda and Helen Marrow, The New Americans: A Guide to Immigration Since 1965 (pp. 433-444). Harvard University Press.

Ispa-Landa, Simone (2006). Reciprocity, Truth-Telling, and Power in Qualitative Data Exchanges in Tatyana Gurko, Actualnie Problemi v Rossii (pp. 211-21). Reglant.

Research Interests

Race and ethnicity, gender, sociology of education, criminal records, sociology of youth and childhood, stigma, qualitative research methods.



HDSP 432

Field Methods This course is designed to introduce students to qualitative research, including field work, interviewing, and document analysis. Students will explore qualitative research approaches by undertaking their own research study as well as reading and discussing relevant writing on the subject.


Topics (21): Field Methods

SESP 372

Methods of Observing Human Behavior

SESP 388

Practicum in Human Development: Social Policy


Editorial Boards

Year Journal Name Position
2017 Gender & Society Editorial Board Member
2016 - 2018 Sociology of Education Editorial Board Member

Last Updated: 2018-02-19 16:35:24