Alexis McCurn

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 East Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747

Office: SBS-B328
Telephone: (310) 243-3430



Alexis S. McCurn is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her areas of teaching and research expertise include qualitative research methods, urban sociology, Black communities, race and ethnic relations, and inequality with a special focus on the intersections of gender, race, and class. Her current research explores issues related to gendered violence and inner city life with a particular focus on inequality and survival in impoverished communities.

Dr. McCurn’s first book, The Grind: Black Women and Survival in the Inner City (2018) is published with Rutgers University Press. This ethnographic study is based on two years of naturalistic field research in Oakland, California, and explores how Black women negotiate urban public space. This work examines how race, sex, class, violence, and the body are experienced, understood, and accomplished through encounters and interactions while negotiating public space in poor inner city communities. Her research has received awards from the American Sociological Association's Race, Gender, and Class Section as well as funding from the National Science Foundation and the William T. Grant Foundation. At CSUDH, she teaches Understanding Social Relationships in a Global Context, Sociology of Black Communities, Black Women, Power, and Politics, Methods of Sociological Research, and a Seminar in Ethnographic Analysis.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013
M.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009
B.A., Sociology, University of San Francisco, 2005


Her areas of expertise include Qualitative Research Methods, Urban Sociology, Black Communities, Race and Ethnic Relations, Inequality, Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class.



Alexis S. McCurn. 2018. The Grind: Black Women and Survival in the Inner City. Rutgers University Press.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Alexis S. McCurn. 2018.‘Keeping It Fresh’: How Young Black Women Negotiate Self-Representation and Controlling Images in Urban Space.” City & Community 17 (1) :134-149

Alexis S. McCurn. 2017. “‘I Am Not a Prostitute’: How Young Black Women Challenge Street-based Micro-interactional Assaults.” Sociological Focus 50 (1) :52–65.

Book Chapters

 Nikki Jones and Alexis S. McCurn. 2015. “Black Girls, Gender, and Violence.”  Pp. 78–91 in Understanding Diversity, edited by C. M. Renzetti and R. M. Kennedy- Bergen.  New York: Pearson.

The Grind