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Department of Sociology at Lehman College

Christopher J. Bonastia

Christopher J. BonastiaI joined the Sociology Department at Lehman College in 2004, after spending one year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Queens College and two years as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. I became Associate Director of Honors Programs (Macaulay Honors College and Lehman Scholars Program) in 2009, and joined the CUNY Graduate Center faculty in 2010.

While at Lehman, I have taught three Sociology courses: SOC 309 (Social Inequality), SOC 327 (American Social Policy Making) and SOC 338 (Race & Ethnicity). I have also taught courses at the CUNY Graduate Center and in the Honors Programs at Lehman. I have been the Major Advisor in the Sociology Department since 2007.

My research focuses on the politics of racial inequality. I have published two books: Knocking on the Door: The Federal Government’s Attempt to Desegregate the Suburbs (Princeton University Press, 2006) and Southern Stalemate: Five Years without Public Education in Prince Edward County, Virginia (University of Chicago Press, 2012). In addition, I am the author of numerous journal articles. Since 2013, my work has been published in Sociological Forum, Kalfou, Contexts and History of Education Quarterly.

My work has also reached non-academic audiences with published essays in Slate, the Huffington Post, Alternet and JSTOR Daily. PBS Newshour used Southern Stalemate as its sole source for a widely distributed school handout on the abandonment of public education Prince Edward County, Virginia. I was also a consultant to This American Life for a series on housing desegregation.

During the 2016-17 academic year, I will be on leave: I will not be teaching or advising from September 2016 to August 2017. I will use this time to research and write my new book, which examines school and housing segregation in New York City. In Spring 2017, I will be a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Advanced Research Collaborative.

My office is in B-62 Carman, and the easiest way to get in touch with me is via email at

  • CV (PDF)