Head shot of Jenifer Bratter
  • Kinder Fellow
  • Professor of Sociology, Rice University
  • Director, Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Culture

Jenifer Bratter is an associate professor of sociology at Rice University and the director of the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Culture (PSERC). As a sociologist, Bratter is trained as a demographer. Her work explores how the growing complexity of race and ethnicity in the 21st century affects the influence of race in the areas of identity, the family and health. 

As director of PSERC, formerly known as Race Scholars at Rice, Bratter has organized several events promoting the organization’s core mission to enhance the public’s understanding of race and ethnicity, including “Having the Talk: Teaching Race in the Undergraduate Classroom,” an all-day symposium that brought together more than 70 educators to discuss how to tackle one of academia’s thorniest topics. PSERC also hosted “Measuring The Diverging Components of Race,” a gathering of sociologists and U.S. Census Bureau officials that explored how the way we think about race impacts the way we collect information about it from the public. Currently, PSERC is co-organizing a conference on racial residential segregation in partnership with Texas A&M University’s Research Data Center. This effort aims to bring together scholars whose work focuses on the impact a new diversity of race and ethnicity has on how the public is slated into different neighborhoods. Bratter’s work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and in public media.

Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Bratter completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin and started teaching at the University of Houston in 2002 before coming to Rice University in 2006. Bratter enjoys interacting with undergraduates and extends that experience through her role as head resident fellow at one of Rice’s newest residential colleges, Duncan College.