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Dr. Matthew  Oware
Dr. Matthew Oware
Irving May Professor of Human Relations, Professor of Sociology
Africana Studies Advisory Board Member
Chair, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Matthew Oware is Irving May endowed chair in sociology at the University of Richmond. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington and previously taught at DePauw University. Dr. Oware teaches a variety of courses, including Foundations of Society, Sociological Research Methods, Sociology of Hip Hop, Race and Ethnicity in America, and Masculinities, among others.

Dr. Oware's research focuses on the constructions of racialized and gendered identities in popular culture, Black masculinity in African-American expressive culture, and the Black family in American society. He has analyzed how popular male rap artists address notions of fatherhood and masculinity in their music. He has also examined, via content analysis of rap songs, how underground white rap artists engage in racial evasion while simultaneously perpetuating aspects of hegemonic masculinity. Overall, his work tends to center on the intersections of race, class, and gender in popular culture, incorporating theoretical frames such Black Feminist Thought, social capital, hegemonic masculinity, and colorblind racism.

Dr. Oware's most recent book, "I Got Something to Say: Race, Gender, and Social Consciousness in Rap Music" (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), uses systematic, analytic, and interdisciplinary approaches to examining the lyrics of millennial rap artists. He also has publications in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Black Studies, Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts, the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and the Journal of African American Studies, among others.

Outside of academia, Professor Oware has worked with community organizations advocating for marginalized and homeless groups in Indiana.

Grants and Fellowships

DePauw University Sanger Leadership Grant for Africana Studies, 2019 

DePauw University Asher Fund in the Social Sciences for Student Collaborative Project, 2017 

DePauw University Faculty Fellowship, 2017-2020 

DePauw University Carolyn T. Jones Summer Stipend, 2013 

DePauw University Faculty Fellowship, 2009-2012


DePauw University Lester Martin Jones Endowed Chair, 2017-2020 

DePauw University Edwin Minar Scholarship Award for exceptional scholarly achievement, 2016 

DePauw University Fisher Time-Out Award, 2012, 2006 

DePauw University United Methodist Church General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award, 2009

American Sociological Association
American Sociological Association
North Central Sociological Association
Selected Publications

Oware, Matthew. 2016. "We Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb...: Underground White Rappers' Hegemonic Masculinity and Racial Evasion" Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. 2: 372-386. 

Oware, Matthew. 2014. "(Un) Conscious (Popular) Underground: Restricted Cultural Production and Underground Rap Music." Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts. 42: 60-81. 

Oware, Matthew. 2011. "Decent Daddy, Imperfect Daddy: Black Male Rap Artists' Views of Fatherhood and the Family."Journal of African American Studies 15(3):327-351. 

Oware, Matthew. 2011. "Brotherly Love: Homosociality and Black Masculinity in Gangsta Rap Music." Journal of African American Studies 15(1):22-39. 

Oware, Matthew. 2009. "Man's Woman?: Contradictory Messages in the Songs of Female Rappers, 1992-2000." Journal of Black Studies 39: 786-802. 

Jason Jimerson and Matthew Oware. 2006. "Telling the Code of the Street: An Ethnomethodological Ethnography." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35: 24-50.


Oware, Matthew. 2018. "I Got Say Something to Say: Gender, Race, and Social Consciousness in Rap Music" Palgrave Macmillan: New York.


Oware, Matthew. 2013. "(Re)Presentin' the Mixed Man: An Exploration of Multiracial Identity in Rap Music"  Music Sociology:  An Introduction to the Role of Music on Social Life edited by Sara Horsfall, Meghan Probstfield, and Jan-Martin Meij. 

Oware, Matthew. 2008. "Status Maximization, Hypodescent Theory, or Social Identity Theory? A Theoretical Approach to Understanding the Racial Identification of Multiracial Adolescents." in Biculturalism, Self-Identity, and Societal Development (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations vol. 15) edited by Rutledge Dennis. Emerald Publishing.

In the News

Radikaal Podcast: Interview
Mon., Jul. 13, 2020

Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington
M.A., Indiana University Bloomington
B.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Contact Information
302M Weinstein Hall
Areas of Expertise
African American culture
Hip Hop/Rap
Content Analysis
Racial Identity
Black/Africana Studies