Ashley Woody

Ashley Woody profile picture
  • Title: PhD Candidate
  • Departments: IRES, Sociology
  • Affiliated Departments: IRES
  • Interests: Racial/Ethnic Relations, Racism; Urban and Suburban Inequality, Emotions
  • Curriculum Vitae


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department at the University of Oregon. In 2014 I received a BA in sociology from California State University Long Beach, and in 2017 I received an MS in sociology from the University of Oregon. My research examines the enduring significance of race and racism in contemporary U.S. society. I have taught classes such as Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of Race and Racism, and Qualitative Methods of Social Research. Alongside teaching in sociology, I have also worked as a teaching assistant, grader, and discusison leader in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon over the last several years.

My dissertation titled, "Race, Space, and Resistance in America's Whitest Big City", is an ethnographic and interview-based project that examines how racism structures the lives and emotions of communities of color in Portland, Oregon. With whites making up approximately 72 percent of residents, Portland is the whitest U.S. city of its size, making it a key site where urbanicity and pervasive whiteness intersect. At the same time, it is also a site where African Americans, Latinxs, Indigenous groups, and Asian Americans have worked to build community despite the city's history of settlement, racial exclusion, and uneven development. This study demonstrates the importance of place and demographics in structuring racialized lived experiences and reveals how race is relationally constructed and contested in majority white urban contexts.

A chapter of my dissertation titled, "Emotions and Ambient Racism in America's Whitest Big City" has been conditionally accepted at the journal, Social Problems.

My article, “They Want the Spanish but They Don’t Want the Mexicans”: Whiteness and Consumptive Contact in an Oregon Spanish Immersion School", published in Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, examines the racialized consumptive practices of whites who intentionally seek out engagement with communities of color. I introduce the concept of consumptive contact: a form of interracial contact predicated upon whites’ perceptions about economic and cultural benefits they will acquire through exposure to nonwhites.

  •  Woody, Ashley. 2018. “They Want the Spanish But They Don’t Want the Mexicans”: Whiteness and Consumptive Contact in an Oregon Spanish Immersion School.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. 6(1), 92–106.