As a former organizer and lifelong activist, my scholarly work is motivated by questions around racial justice in the economy. My work examines the mechanisms that explain how Black Americans escape poverty and how upward mobility shapes Black identity. Employing a range of methods, my research advances the sociological understanding of stratification, race, and culture and informs policies that reduce economic and racial inequality.

Academic Publications

Jasmine D. Hill, Kin Support of the Black Middle Class: Negotiating Need, Norms, and Class Background, Social Problems, 2020; Online First,


In comparison to middle-class Whites, middle-class African Americans disproportionately provide financial support to their low-income family members. Evidence suggests that this practice is both essential for its low-income recipients and economically detrimental for Black middle-class givers. Scholars often oversimplify Black middle-class identity by describing kin support as motivated solely by racial identity. Gathering insight from 41 in-depth interviews, this article interrogates the conditions under which, despite their financial own vulnerability, middle-class Black families offer kin support. This study explores variations in Black middle-class racial ideology and observes how other dimensions of identity, such as class background, influence attitudes and decision-making towards family. This article demonstrates how socioeconomic background shapes the ways the Black middle class negotiates expectations of kin support and details three kin support approaches as either strategies for social mobility, tools reserved for short-term lending, or opportunities to repay unsettled childhood debts. This work contributes to our understanding of how the Black community deploys kin support, illuminates how the Black middle class makes sense of racial norms around giving, and centers class background in our intersectional understanding of identity.

Carian, Emily K., and Jasmine D. Hill. “Using Frameworks of Social Desirability to Teach Subjectivity in Interviews.” Teaching Sociology,  2021; Online First,


Qualitative methods courses lack tools for teaching students how to capture and analyze the nuanced ways participant subjectivity shows up in interviews. This article responds to the call for greater depth in qualitative methods instruction by offering teachers a series of discussion questions and an in-class worksheet that will help students more deeply probe and understand their data. These practical in-class tools leverage one theoretical lens that we find is well suited for unpacking participant subjectivity: social desirability. In this article, we present four speculative questions for instructors and students to more fully consider interviewees’ working frameworks: (1) What does your respondent consider a sensitive subject? (2) What does your respondent perceive to be norms of socially desirability? (3) Which audiences are the target audiences for your respondent’s presentation of self? and (4) How do you think your respondent’s relationship to the interview context influenced the account created during the interview?

Download this paper's in-class worksheet here

Grusky, David, and Jasmine Hill, eds. Inequality in the 21st century: A reader. Routledge, 2018.

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Why are so many types of inequality suddenly increasing? Should we be worried that we're moving into a "second gilded age" with unprecedented levels of income inequality? In this new collection, David B. Grusky and Jasmine Hill present readings that lay bare the main changes in play, what's driving these changes, and what might be done to reverse them. This reader delivers the latest and most influential contributions on economic inequality, social mobility, educational inequality, racial and ethnic relations, and gender inequality. Readers will encounter pieces from top scholars in a variety of fields, including Emmanuel Saez (Economist, UC Berkeley), Kathryn Edin (Sociologist, Johns Hopkins), Raj Chetty (Economist, Harvard), Florencia Torche (Sociologist, NYU), and Lucien Bebchuk (Law, Harvard).

Grusky, David, et al. "Why is there so much poverty in California? The causes of California’s sky-high poverty and the evidence behind the equal opportunity plan for reducing It." (2015).

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The purpose of this report is to describe the current state of poverty in California, to discuss concrete steps that could be taken to reduce poverty in California, and to present the best available evidence on the likely effects of those steps. We take on an important but infrequently-posed question: If California were to seriously commit to reducing poverty, how might that commitment best be realized?

This is of course a hypothetical question, as there is no evidence that California is poised to make such a serious commitment, nor have many other states gone much beyond the usual lip-service proclamations. It is nonetheless especially striking that California, the highest-poverty state in the country, has not rushed in to rectify the matter.

There are many reasons for this seeming complacency, but an especially important one is that most people think that poverty is intractable and that viable solutions to it simply don’t exist. When Californians know what needs to be done, they tend to go forward and get it done. When, for example, the state’s roads are in disrepair, there are rarely paralyzing debates about exactly how to go about fixing them; and instead we proceed with the needed repairs as soon as the funds to do so are appropriated. The same type of sure and certain prescription might appear to be unavailable when it comes to fixing poverty. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the cacaphony of voices yielding a thick stream of narrow-gauge interventions, new evaluations, and piecemeal proposals.

Current Projects

Misinformed: Mobility Knowledge as a Process of Racial Inequality

Non-Academic Publications & Public Writing

"State of the Pledge: Seven Lessons We’ve Learned about DEI Work in Tech." PledgeLA Blog. 

The State of Justice in Los Angeles Tech & Venture Capital - 2021 PledgeLA Survey Report. Report for Annenberg Foundation and Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

The State of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Los Angeles Tech Industry - 2020 PledgeLA Survey Report. Report for Annenberg Foundation and Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

“Portraits of Survival: Voices of Black Women in California on Surviving Domestic Violence.” 2018 Report for Blue Shield of California Foundation.

“Perceptions of Domestic Violence in California’s African American Communities: Roots, Prevalence, and Resources.” 2018 Report for Blue Shield of California Foundation.


Recent Scholarly Presentations

  • Labor and Employment Relations Annual Conference, 2021

  • Meeting of the American Sociology Association, 2020

  • Stanford Center for the Comparative Study of Race & Ethnicity Colloquium, 2019

  • Annenberg Foundation Grant-Making Workshop, 2019

  • UC Riverside Sociology Colloquium, 2018

  • Tohoku University Colloquium, Sendai, Japan, 2018

  • Meeting of the Association of Black Sociologists, 2016

  • Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora, 2015

  • Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems, 2015

  • The Chicago Ethnography Conference, 2015