Waverly Duck, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Waverly Duck is an urban sociologist and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of No Way Out: Precarious Living in the Shadow of Poverty and Drug Dealing (University of Chicago Press, 2015), which was a finalist for the Society for the Study of Social Problem 2016 C. Wright Mills Book Award. His new book on unconscious racism, Tacit Racism, co-authored with Anne Rawls, is due out in May of 2020 with the University of Chicago Press.

After receiving his Ph.D. in sociology from Wayne State University in 2005, Professor Duck was a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. Following this, he held a three-year post-doctoral appointment at Yale University before joining the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. Professor Duck also served as Associate Director of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project, where he is currently a Senior Fellow. From 2013 to 2014, he was a visiting professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he conducted research at the Waisman Center, a research clinic dedicated to examining childhood psychopathology.

He teaches on a wide number of topics, including urban sociology, inequality (race, class, gender, health, and age), qualitative methods, culture, communication, ethnomethodology, and ethnography, and is a two-time winner of the University of Pittsburgh Student Choice Teaching Award. Professor Duck was recently a CAUSE Fellow/Visiting Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for African American Urban Studies & the Economy, and is the former Director of Urban Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

He is currently completing a visiting appointment at Georgetown University where he is the Royster B Davis, S.J. College Chair Distinguished Professor of Sociology.  His current research involves several projects focusing on gentrification, displacement, and food apartheid. Like his earlier work, his current research investigates the challenges faced by socially marginal groups.  However, it is more directly concerned with how residents of marginalized communities identify problems and what they think are viable solutions.

Education & Training

  • Post-Doctoral Associate, Yale University, 2007-2010
  • PhD, Wayne State University, 2005
  • MSc, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2002
  • BA, Wayne State University, 1998

Research Interests

  • Urban sociology
  • Ethnography and ethnomethodology
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Culture
  • Health disparities
  • Criminology
  • Inequality and social justice
  • Theories of the interaction order

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