Wendy Marie Laybourn

Doctoral Candidate

Wendy Marie Laybourn is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research agenda focuses on the relationship between racial ideology and racial and ethnic identity. Using a critical race theory approach, she focuses on the effect of popular culture (e.g., music, movies, social media) and/or raced institutions (e.g., family structures, Greek letter organizations) on racial and ethnic identity. Her dissertation research examines the effects of racial ideology on Korean adoptee (KAD) socialization, racialization, and lived experiences and the relationship to their racial, ethnic, and adoptee identity formation. She also analyzes Korean adoptees’ relationship to the state throughout the history of Korean adoption (1950s-current) with particular attention to the changing framing of Korean adoptees as ‘easily assimilable’ to ‘perpetual foreigner.’ 

In addition to her dissertation work, she, along with a co-author, has a book manuscript (under contract) in progress which examines racial identity formation and racial boundary making among non-Black members of historically Black Greek letter organizations.

Presently, Wendy serves as the graduate student coordinator for the Critical Race Initiative. 





Areas of Interest:
  • Social Psychology
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Qualitative Methodology
Personal Website:
  • BA Sociology, University of Memphis
  • Wendy Marie Laybourn
1103 Parren J. Mitchell Art-Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
Email: wendyml@umd.edu