Building Robust & Inclusive Democracy
Daanika Gordon

Daanika Gordon

Braker Hall
Research/Areas of Interest:

Law, the criminal legal system, and policing; racial inequality and racial formation; urban politics, cities, and space; bureaucracy and organizations; research methods


  • PhD, Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, 2018
  • MS, Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, 2013
  • BA, Development Studies, University of California–Berkeley, USA, 2009
  • BA, Sociology, University of California–Berkeley, USA, USA, 2009


Daanika Gordon is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Tufts University. Her research examines the institutional and interactional mechanisms that undergird contemporary racial inequality in the city. Specifically, she investigates the ties between segregation, urban governance, and policing, with a focus on how organizational processes intervene between structural inequalities and everyday experiences. Drawing on theories of race and racism, law in action, organizations, and the urban political economy, Dr. Gordon's scholarship analyzes 1) policing as a tool of urban governance, 2) racial inequalities as outcomes of seemingly race-neutral organizational policies, and 3) segregation as a relational and dynamically produced social structure.

These themes are reflected in Dr. Gordon's first book, Policing the Racial Divide: Urban Growth Politics and the Remaking of Segregation (NYU Press 2022), which was the 2023 winner of the Edwin H. Sutherland Book Award, presented by the Law and Society Division of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Dr. Gordon's work has appeared in journals including Social Problems, Law & Social Inquiry, Law & Policy, Socius: Sociological Perspectives for a Dynamic World, and Sociological Perspectives, among other outlets. At Tufts, her research has been funded by the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, the Bernstein Faculty Fellowship, the Neubauer Faculty Fellowship, and the Faculty Research Awards Committee. Prior, her work was supported by the Center for Engaged Scholarship and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Gordon teaches courses including the sociology of race and ethnicity, race and the criminal legal system, deviance and conformity, and research design and interpretation. She also teaches courses and sits on the faculty advisory committee for the Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College (TUPIT). Dr. Gordon was the 2023 recipient of the Recognition of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (ROUTE) Award, which is awarded annually to a junior faculty member who has displayed exceptional teaching and advising, concern for students' academic and personal growth, and the ability to convey passion and enthusiasm for their field of study.