UC Irvine sociologist Andrew Penner’s research has shown that, over time, changes in social standing – such as income level, employment and incarceration status – alter the way people racially categorize themselves and others. Now Penner and University of Oregon colleague Aliya Saperstein are expanding the study, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to explore how thinking about race as fluid provides insight into inequality. “By recognizing that perceptions of race are fluid and connected to stereotypes about social status,” Penner says, “we hope to be able to explain some of the reasons that racial inequality persists in today’s society and inform policies aimed at addressing it.”