Lerman is a political scientist at the Goldman School of Public Policy who writes widely on issues related to political engagement, public opinion, and public policy. Her recent work examines the ways that growing economic inequality, persistent racial bias, and the rise of the carceral state influence citizens’ political beliefs, racial identities, and rates of political participation. She is particularly interested in the political attitudes and behavior of the low-income, youth, and racial minorities. In addition to writing and teaching, Professor Lerman is an adjunct faculty member of the Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison.
Examines the role of political ideology in shaping black voters’ evaluations of political candidates’ race and skin tone. Challenges simplistic notions of black preference for descriptive representation.