Dr. Johanna M. Lukate

Curriculum Vitae


Johanna M. Lukate is a Research Fellow in the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity. Her research broadly focuses on how bodies, discourses, perceptions and contexts work to shape a person’s social identities and experiences across the life course. At the MPI-MMG, her project will combine qualitative and computational methods to examine the diversity of African migrant biographies and identities in Germany and engage with the heterogeneity of Blackness in Germany and beyond.

As a PhD student at the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge (UK), Johanna studied the psychology of Black hair. Entitled What Do I Do With My Hair? her thesis is an interdisciplinary exploration of representations of Black hair and hairstyling as embodied forms of identity making and community formation. Johanna received a full PhD scholarship from Deutsche Studienstiftung as well as the Fox International Fellowship (2017-18) at Yale (USA) to carry out her research. Aspects of Johanna’s doctoral research have been published in the Journal of Social Issues and the edited collection To Exist is to Resist: Black feminism in Europe. To learn more about her work, watch Johanna’s TEDx Talk on The Psychology of Black hair.

Johanna’s research and her expertise on the psychology of Black hair have been featured on a wide range of media, including Refinery29 and Allure. Johanna also hosts workshops and joins community panel discussions such as the November 2021 Black Voices edition on Black German History.

Johanna welcomes emails from anyone interested in her research.

Research projects


Special Issue Editorship

Reddy, G., Coultas, C. & Lukate, J.M. (Eds.) (2023). Towards a social psychology of precarity [Special Issue]. British Journal of Social Psychology, 62(S1). Link

Journal articles (peer-reviewed)

Lukate, J. M., & Foster, J. L. (2023). ‘Depending on where I am…’ Hair, travelling and the performance of identity among Black and mixed-race women. British Journal of Social Psychology, 62(1), 342-358. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12584

Coultas, C., Reddy, G., & Lukate, J. M. (2023). Towards a social psychology of precarity. British Journal of Social Psychology, 62(S1), 1-20. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12618

Lukate, J. M. (2023). On the precariousness of address: What narratives of being called White can tell us about researching and re/producing social categories in research. British Journal of Social Psychology, 62(S1), 56-70. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12615

Lukate, J.M. (2021). Space, race and identity: An ethnographic study of the Black hair care and beauty landscape and Black women’s racial identity constructions in England [Special Issue]. Journal of Social Issues, 78(1), 107-125. DOI: 10.1111/josi.12433

Mao, M., Blackwell, A.F., Lukate J.M., & Good, D.A. (2016) Supporting retirement socially and musically by technology: An ethnographic study of local community musicians. Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. DOI: 10.1145/2851581.2892285

Book chapters

Lukate, J.M. (2019). Blackness disrupts my Germanness. On embodied intersectionality and questions of identity and belonging among women of colour in Germany. In: Emejulu, A., & Sobande, F. (Eds.). To exist is to resists: Black feminism in Europe. London: Pluto Press.

Lukate, J.M. (2009). Essay über das Verhältnis von Geschichte und Identität. In: Georgi, B., & Ohling, R. (Ed.). Crossover Geschichte – Historisches Bewusstsein Jugendlicher in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft. Hamburg: Körber-Stiftung.


Lukate, J.M. (2018). Why policies about hair matter for educational equality. Scholars Strategy Network.

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