Professor Matthew  Hughey

Professor Matthew Hughey

Visiting Professor

Department of Sociology

Connect with me

English, Spanish
Key Expertise
race, inequality, knowledge, media, power, religion, and science

About me

Matthew W. Hughey (Ph.D. U of Virginia; M.Ed. Ohio U) is Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, where he is also an affiliate faculty of the Africana Studies Institute; the American Studies Program; the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, & Policy; the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative, and; the Graduate Certificate and Masters Program in Race, Ethnicity, Indigeneity, & Politics. He is also affiliate faculty at the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, England); University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain), and; Nelson Mandela University (Port Elizabeth, South Africa).   

While in the UK, Professor Hughey is conducting ethnographic and interview research that builds on his prior ethnographic studies of all-white groups in the US.  He seeks to examine how similar organizations in England engender, rationalize, and legitimate the promotion and pursuit of white racial interests and white identities.  His preliminary findings indicate that there is a common denominator to whiteness across varied contexts and nationalities, whereby a meaningful white racial identity is produced through the reproduction of, and appeal to, reactionary, discriminatory, and racially essentialist understandings of racial stratification, redistributive policies, and views of People of Color/BAME.  These shared understandings function as seemingly neutral yardsticks against which cultural behavior, norms, and values are measured.  The realization that there is a shared “groupness” to outwardly different white individuals and organizations destabilizes the recent trend that over-emphasizes white heterogeneity at the expense of discussions of racial interests, racial solidarity, and racial populism.  Moreover, recent related work is limited by intra-national studies and begs for cross-national comparative study.  His project is situated as both an analytic extension to his prior ethnographic studies in the US and is a perfect cross-national natural experiment given the vexing ethno-racial issues of the contemporary US and UK. 


Hughey, Matthew W. 2022. “Superposition Strategies: How and Why White People Say Contradictory Things about Race."  PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) 119(9): 1-8.

Hughey, Matthew W. 2021. “Debating Du Bois’s Darkwater: From Hymn of Hate to Pathos and Power.”  Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 28(3): 263-285.

Hughey, Matthew W.  2021. “How Blackness Matters in White Lives.” Symbolic Interaction 44(2): 412-448.

Hughey, Matthew W. 2021. “Prometheus as Racial Allegory: The Sociological Poetics of W. E. B. Du Bois.”  Journal of African American Studies 25(1):102-123.

Hughey, Matthew W. 2020. “‘The Souls of White Folk’ (1920-2020): A Century of Peril and Prophecy.”  Ethnic and Racial Studies Review 43(8):1307-1332, 

Hughey, Matthew W. and Emma González-Lesser. 2020. Racialized Media: The Design, Delivery, and Decoding of Race and Ethnicity (New York University Press).

Parks, Gregory S. and Matthew W. Hughey. 2020. A Pledge with Purpose: Black Sororities and Fraternities and the Fight for Equality (New York University Press).

Byrd, W. Carson and Matthew W. Hughey (guest editors). 2015. “Race, Racial Inequality, and Biological Determinism in the Genetic and Genomic Era.” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 661(1): 8-258.

Hughey, Matthew W. and Gregory S. Parks. 2014.The Wrongs of the Right: Language, Race, and the Republican Party in the Age of Obama (New York University Press).

Hughey, Matthew W. 2012. White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race (Stanford University Press, 2012).

Expertise Details

race; inequality; knowledge; media; power; religion; and science