William A. Owens Creative Research Award 2017
Jody Clay-Warner, Meigs Professor of Sociology, investigates injustice from both basic and applied vantage points, addressing critical problems in our society: injustice, violence, victimization, and the laws and policies designed to control these problems. Her research broadens the understanding of injustice by systematically examining how social structure and contextual factors affect how people perceive and rationalize injustice, as well as the emotional, cognitive and legal processes involved in responses to injustice. For example, she challenged the notion that women are always more likely to perceive gender discrimination than are men, developing a theoretical model that explained how occupational structure affected perceptions of gender bias. Her work on violence against women demonstrates the role of structural and contextual factors on women’s responses to sexual violence and on re-victimization. Carried out in a rigorous way theoretically and methodologically, her work contributes to understanding and perhaps solving some of our most pressing social problems.