Abigail A. Sewell
Abigail A. Sewell is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. Her areas of interests are race and ethnicity, quantitative research methodology, political economy, medical sociology, and social psychology. Her dissertation, “Opening the Black Box of Segregation: The Structures of Health”, evaluates the health consequences of mortgage lending decisions for youth participating in the Project of Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN). A multilevel root cause theory, the racism-race reification process (R3p), is proposed and tested, which holds that institutional structures of racism are linked to health disadvantages by way of the material quality and social composition of the neighborhood context in which racially marginalized youth live. Drawing upon conceptual and methodological insights from the “originate-to-distribute” model, this research clarifies, extends, and realigns competing perspectives concerning the health effects of the racial composition of neighborhoods and racial discrimination in mortgage credit access. The research indicates that the decisions of mortgage lending institutions are of consequence to youth health outcomes because they result in steering minorities away from advantaged neighborhoods and towards disadvantaged neighborhoods. Neighborhood-level data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Neighborhood Change Database are merged to individual- and neighborhood-level data from PHDCN. Abigail’s research has been supported by a Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, a Schuessler Scholarship for Study at ICPSR, and a Schuessler Exchange Fellowship. She is a recipient of several research paper and mentoring awards. Her research has been published in the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, the Journal of Negro Education, the Journal of Undergraduate Research, Rethinking Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods (ed. John H. Stanfield, II), and Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy (ed. Rashawn Ray). She is the instructor of a course on research methodology in quantitative studies of race and ethnicity at the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. She graduated from the University of Florida summa cum laude with a Bachelor's of Arts in Sociology and a Minor in Women’s Studies.