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Publications

My research involves, most generally, the relationship between social inequality and the body, especially as sexuality becomes a marker of difference and an arena of social control.

Here I include some publications representative of the various strands of my research on:

See also my writing around the blogosphere and series of teaching-related essays.

U.S. DISCOURSE ABOUT “FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION”

In one strand of research, I examine the way in which U.S. discourse about “female genital mutilation” in Africa reflects uniquely American assumptions, obsessions, and ideologies.  For example, using the issue to shed light on “us” instead of “them,” I’ve looked at how a controversy around the practice reveals assumptions about what counts as social change (Social Problems), how discourse about the practices undermine American feminism in the media and academia (Gender & Society; Ethnicities), and how the subject enables reporters to engage in advocacy despite the imperative that they remain objective (Media, Culture & SocietyJournalism).


HOOK UP CULTURE

In another strand of research, I delve into sexual experiences of college students.  In part, this project documents and challenges the notion of “hooking up” and asks how this shift in young peoples’ behavior (if it is one) illuminates our theory as to the relationship between sexuality and institutional, economic, and ideological change.


THE SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BODY

I’ve more directly engaged with the body in theoretical pieces on the relevance of biology to social inquiry and the role of sexual objectification on female politicians, and an ethnography of a vintage jazz dance called lindy hop.


IN THE BLOGOSPHERE 

I’ve written over 2,500 posts at my blog, Sociological Images, and also routinely write (or have written) for a handful of other sites, including Salon, Business Insider, Jezebel, Slate, and Politico.  See my media page for more.


TEACHING AND PUBLIC SOCIOLOGY-RELATED PUBLICATIONS

You are welcome, of course, to see my full curriculum vitae.

Photo credit: Marc Campos. Courtesy of Occidental College.

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