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Oware, Matthew K., Ph.D.




Sociology and Anthropology, Asbury Hall, Room 306
Greencastle, IN

Sociology and Anthropology

Lester Martin Jones Professor of Sociology and Director of the Africana Studies Program



Matthew Oware is the Lester Martin Jones Professor of Sociology and the current director of Africana Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington. At DePauw, Dr. Oware served two terms as chair of the Sociology and Anthropology department. He is the recipient of the George and Virginia Crane Distinguished Teaching Award and the Edwin L. Minar Jr. Scholarship Award. Professor Oware teaches a variety of courses including Contemporary Society, Methods of Social Research, Senior Seminar, Sociology of Popular Culture, Sociology of Hip Hop, Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States, and Masculinities, among others.  

Dr. Oware's primary 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. Specifically, he analyzes how popular male rap artists address notions of fatherhood and masculinity in their music. He also examines, 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 as Black Feminism, Bourdieu’s notion of restricted and large-scale capital, hegemonic masculinity, and colorblind racism.   


Dr. Oware's current book, "I Got Something to Say: Race, Gender, and Social Consciousness in Rap Music," (Palgrave Macmillan) 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 serves as a consultant for community organizations working with marginalized and indigent groups in Indianapolis, Indiana.



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

Selected Publications (Peer Reviewed): 

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.

Book Chapters  

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.











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