Sean J. Drake

Assistant Professor, Sociology

Sean Drake faculty pg

Contact Information

426 Eggers Hall
(315) 443-4388
Office Hours:
By Appointment

Staff Support
Laura Walsh
(315) 443-9929

Curriculum Vitae
Sean J. Drake CV

Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Research


Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2017


Ethnographic Methods, Race and Ethnicity, Schools and Education, Childhood Poverty and Homelessness, Children of Immigrants


Fall 2021

SOC 319.002 Qualitative Methods in Sociology, MoWe 12:45-2:05, Falk 200
SOC 300.004 Sociology of Education, MoWe 2:10-3:35, Hall of Languages 105


Sean J. Drake is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and a Senior Research Associate at the Maxwell Center for Policy Research. Professor Drake’s research focuses on hidden, institutional mechanisms of segregation, and inequality that disproportionately affect students of color and lower-income students in urban and suburban neighborhoods. His first book, Academic Apartheid: Race and the Criminalization of Failure in an American Suburb (March 2022, University of California Press), is a study of school segregation based on over two years of observation and dozens of interviews in a middle-class district. Professor Drake’s work has been published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Urban Education, the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, and several edited volumes. His research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, and he is a fellow of the Yale Urban Ethnography Project and the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Professor Drake teaches courses on race and ethnicity, educational inequality, and ethnographic research methods. He is currently working on an ethnographic study of students and families experiencing homelessness in Central New York and New York City. Prior to joining SU, Dr. Drake was a member of the faculty at NYU Steinhardt, where he held successive appointments as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019) and a Visiting Assistant Professor (2019-2021).  Dr. Drake earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Irvine, and a B.A. (with honors) in psychology from Stanford University.

Research Interests

Race and Ethnicity
Schools and Education
Childhood Poverty and Homelessness
Children of Immigrants

Research Grants and Awards

Diversity Scholar, National Center for Institutional Diversity. 2017.

Dissertation Fellow, Ford Foundation. 2016. 

Junior Fellow, Yale Urban Ethnography Project. 2014.