Ryan Parsons earned his bachelor’s degrees in international studies and Chinese from the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi, and an M.Phil. degree in development studies from the University of Cambridge. In May 2022, he completed his doctorate in the joint degree program in sociology and social policy from Princeton University.

His general interests cover community and urban sociology, political sociology, and stratification. His research is motivated by prior experience working in China and the Mississippi Delta region. For his dissertation he studied the structure of community life, race relations, and reactions to economic change in a rural Mississippi town.

Before studying at Princeton, Parsons was a project manager at the University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement.