USC Department of Sociology

851 Downey Way

Hazel Stanley Hall 314

Los Angeles, CA 90089-1059 

You can e-mail me at:

Elaine Bell Kaplan

My primary interest is in researching and analyzing structural conditions that restrict opportunities for racial/ethnic groups, women of color and youth. My main concern has to do with how people make meaning of their lives given the socioeconomic barriers they face.

My new book, We Live in The Shadow, Inner-City Kids tells their Stories through Photography (with 53 photos) is an ethnographic study that explores life from the perspectives of Black and Latino inner-city kids. My concerns have to do with how inner-city kids make decisions to help them cope with family life, peer relations and academic achievement and handle the negative options that can make poverty a life sentence; pregnancy, gang involvement and drug abuse. 

Other Selected Publications:

2010                Doing Care on the Run: Family Strategies in the Contested Terrain of Gender and Institutional Intransigence. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography November 14, 2010 vol. 39 no. 6 587-618

2003                I Want to Read Stuff on Boys; White, Latina and Black Girls Reading Seventeen Magazines and Encountering Adolescence. Adolescence, 38 (149): 141-160 (co-authored with Leslie Cole).

2000                Using Food as a Metaphor for Care: Middle-School Kids Talk about Family, School and Class Relationships.  Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, August 29 (4): 479-509.

1997                Elaine Bell Kaplan.  Not Our Kind of Girl: Unraveling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood.  Berkeley: University of California Press. 2nd Printing.