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Leslie H. Picca

Professor; Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


Email: Leslie H. Picca
Phone: 937-229-2138


Dr. Leslie H. Picca is a Professor of Sociology. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology, and Women's Studies and Gender Research Graduate Certificate from the University of Florida. She joined the faculty in 2005 and began her term as department chair in July, 2014 and began serving as interim director of the Criminal Justice Studies Program in summer, 2016.

Faculty Perspective

In sociology, we often tell students "we make the familiar, unfamiliar, and the unfamiliar, familiar." I push my students to understand their experiences beyond their individual interactions, and to examine the broader cultural context. We examine questions such as how do economics, laws, politics, religion, education, and other social institutions impact your daily interactions and life choices? My areas of research are the sociology of race/ethnicity, and sexualities, and people are sometimes surprised by the content of my courses at a Catholic and Marianist university. However, the Marianist charism calls for a focus on diversity, a critical evaluation of our times, and learning in community. It is truly a privilege to be a part of the UD community! 


  • Ph.D., University of Florida

Research Interests

  • Symbolic interactionism
  • Race and ethnicities
  • Structures of privilege (especially whiteness)
  • Sociology of sexualities

Selected Publications

Jim Crow's Legacy: The Lasting Impact of Segregation. Rowman & Littlefield 2015 (with Ruth Thompson-Miller and Joe R. Feagin)

"Everyday Racial Interactions for Whites and College Students of Color.” pp. 144-155 in Understanding Diversity: Celebrating Difference, Challenging Inequality, edited by Claire M. Renzetti, and Raquel Kennedy Bergen. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. (2015)

"‘It Opened My Eyes’: Using Student Journal Writing to Make Visible Race, Class, and Gender in Everyday Life.” Teaching Sociology 41 (1): 82-93. (2013, with Brian Starks and Justine Gunderson)

Two-Faced Racism: Whites in the Backstage and Frontstage. Routledge, 2007 (with Joe R. Feagin)

"Unmasking Racism: Halloween Costuming and Engagement of the Racial Other." Qualitative Sociology 30(3):315-335. (2007, with Jennifer C. Mueller and Danielle Dirks)