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Lisa’s publication record includes work on topics as divergent as U.S. discourse about female genital cutting, partner dancingcollege hookup culture, and the sociology of the body, all of which reflect her theoretical interest in gender and its intersections, sexuality, embodiment, and culture.

For more, see Lisa’s full curriculum vitae or learn about her works in progress.








Untitled Introduction to Sociology text (under contract with W.W. Norton)

With the aim of transforming how we teach sociology, Wade is midway through a solo-authored text for Introduction to Sociology courses. Her goal is to show students the excitement of the sociological imagination by offering what she is well-known for delivering:

  • conversational yet compelling translations of sociological theory and research;
  • illustrated with riveting, humorous, and heartfelt examples;
  • communicated by an experienced writer and an award-winning teacher;
  • and grounded in history, interdisciplinarity, and an eye toward social justice.

Doing Casual Sex: A Microsociology of Hookup Culture (in review)

Using 101 first-person accounts of sex and relationships in college, I describe how students enact sexual casualness by refraining from tenderness, friendliness, follow-up hookups, and sex while sober. Students both break and follow these rules, paying the consequences. These findings add symbolic interactionist layers to our understanding of hookup culture, clarifying how students transition from casual to committed relationships, why friends-with-benefits arrangements rarely materialize, and hookup culture’s hegemony. To the under-theorized microsociology of sexuality, they contribute to thinking about interaction chains, the “dark-side” of emotional energy, pluralistic ignorance, and the potential for individual agency. Public health implications are briefly considered.


Guided Group Ethnography: A Qualitative Method for Depth, Breadth, and Change (in review)

Elaborating on the research method used for American Hookup, in this paper I make a theoretical case for the method, describing its pros and cons. While the method should not be relied on to provide representative or comprehensive data, I argue that it has important advantages: self-focused ethnographies are excellent tools with which to avoid some of the ethical and technical problems with researching sensitive and private behavior; longitudinal research helps us address some of the issues with one-off interviews, like the fact that declared attitudes do not always predict behaviors; and cluster sampling (simultaneously studying a group of people in shared social space) enables substantially thicker description because the researcher gets multiple points of view on the same phenomena.



Resisting Bodies: A Carnal Sociology of Culture and Contradiction

In this paper, Wade speaks directly to the theorizing about the relationship between what Omar Lizardo describes as (a) public culture and personal culture of both the (b) declarative and (c) non-declarative or embodied kind.  Cultural sociologists disagree as to how these three manifestations of culture interact and whether any one is more foundational or dominant than another. Assuming somatic socialization in the tradition of Bourdieu, Wade suggests that college students arrive on campus having internalized a complex and often contradictory set of ideas about love and sex, ones that manifest on both cognitive and visceral levels. Students then must contend with hookup culture which—by constraining ideology, interaction, and opportunities—makes room for only one type of sexual engagement. In practice, most students argue in favor of the rightness of casual sex (and wrongness of serious relationship) during their undergraduate years, but this often clashes with their embodied desires and aversions, making it difficult or uncomfortable to pursue casual sex. Wade offer thick descriptions of this bodily revolt, contributing to the theorizing about the relationship between public and personal and declarative and non-declarative culture.



Photo credit: Marc Campos. Courtesy of Occidental College.

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