Ph.D. Candidate

William Frey’s research interests: race, social media, racism, whiteness, social algorithms, human development

William R. Frey is a Ph.D. Candidate in Columbia University’s School of Social Work with a secondary focus in sociology, under the mentorship of Dr. Courtney D. Cogburn. His research focuses on a transdisciplinary, multi-methodological examination of race and social media. Each line of William’s research seeks to uproot, dislodge, strange, and grasp at how race is made in everyday life, for the purpose of eradicating inequality and its racial justifications. Specifically, his research falls along three interconnected lines, against the backdrop of social media and social algorithms: 1) how white people come to understand and present themselves through processes of racial categorization, socialization, identification, and performance, 2) how people participate in and attempt to resist interpersonal and institutional racism, and 3) examining the processes through which people seek forms of solidarity, community, and belonging. He also engages in digital community-based collaboration supported by his affiliation with the Citizens and Technology (CAT) Lab at Cornell University, directed by Dr. J. Nathan Matias.

For over 15 years, William has facilitated inter-/intragroup dialogic educational spaces, where participants engage in conversation and reflection around their experiences with and understandings of race, racism, and whiteness, including what this means for everyday life (e.g., The Space for Uprooting Whiteness). This applied practice directly informs his research priorities. William holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.S.W. in community organization from the University of Michigan.