Blake Silver

Blake Silver

Blake Silver

Assistant Professor

Sociology: Higher education; inequality and mobility; culture; race, class, and gender; parent and family involvement in education; transition to adulthood; research methods; second-generation immigrant students

Blake R. Silver is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Director of Data Analytics & Assessment in the Honors College. He received a PhD in sociology from the University of Virginia, where he was a Jefferson Fellow.

Dr. Silver’s research focuses on culture, social stratification, and higher education. His work addresses questions about the role of colleges and universities in contesting and reproducing inequality.

Some of his recent projects examine the capacity of higher education to produce cultural change, the experiences of second-generation immigrant students, the impact of physical campus environments on racial disparities in student experiences, and the role of parents and siblings in helping students navigate educational transitions. His research has been supported by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and the NASPA Foundation.

Dr. Silver's new book, The Cost of Inclusion: How Student Conformity Leads to Inequality on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press), is now out in print. The book uses a micro-sociological lens to explore the ways racial and gender inequality are reproduced as students pursue social inclusion in the college setting. 

Selected Publications

Silver, Blake R. 2020. “On the Margins of College Life: The Experiences of Racial and Ethnic Minority Men in the Extracurriculum.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 49(2): 147-175.

Silver, Blake R. 2020. “Social Class and Habitus at the End of College: Cultural Similarity and Difference among Graduating Seniors.” Sociological Focus, 53(2): 190-206.

Roksa, Josipa, and Blake R. Silver. 2019. “‘Do-It-Yourself’ University: Institutional and Family Support in the Transition Out of College.” Review of Higher Education, 42(3): 1051-1071.

Arum, Richard, Josipa Roksa, Jacqueline Cruz, and Blake R. Silver. 2018. "Student Experiences in College." In Barbara Schneider (Ed.), Handbook of the Sociology of Education in the 21st Century, pp. 385-403. Springer.

Silver, Blake R. and Josipa Roksa. 2017. "Navigating Uncertainty and Responsibility: Understanding Inequality in the Senior-Year Transition." Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 54(3): 248-260.

Silver, Blake R. and Rick C. Jakeman. 2016. "College Students’ Willingness to Engage in Bystander Intervention at Off-Campus Parties." Journal of College Student Development, 57(4): 472-476.

Jakeman, Rick C., Blake R. Silver, and Tracae M. McClure. 2015. "A Closer Look at Party Hosting Behaviors Within Off-Campus College Settings." Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 59(3): 7-24.

Silver, Blake R. and Rick C. Jakeman. 2014. "Understanding Intent to Leave the Field: A Study of Student Affairs Master’s Students’ Career Plans." Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 51(2): 170-182.

Jakeman, Rick C., Blake R. Silver, and William Molasso. 2014. "Student Experiences at Off-Campus Parties: Results from a Multicampus Survey." Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 58(2): 64-85.

Grants and Fellowships

National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, Paul P. Fidler Research Grant. "Transitioning OUT: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students’ Experiences in the Senior Year." PI: Blake Silver (10/2019-present).

NASPA Region III, Research Grant. "Gender, First-Generation American Students, and the Senior-Year Transition." PI: Blake Silver (08/2018-12/2019).

The NASPA Foundation, Channing Briggs Small Research Grant. “Navigating the Senior Year Transition: A Qualitative Study of the Experiences of First-Generation American Students.” PI: Blake Silver (10/2015-10/2016).

Courses Taught

The Individual and Society

Culture and Social Inequality

Higher Education and Society

Research Methods

Social Inequality and the Self

The Transition to Adulthood


PhD, Sociology, University of Virginia (2017)

MA, Sociology, University of Virginia (2016)

MA, Higher Education, George Washington University (2013)

BA, English, George Mason University (2011)