Katherine Mason

Assistant Professor of Sociology & Women's and Gender Studies

Wheaton College, MA



Kate Mason is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women's & Gender Studies at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

She received her Ph.D. in 2012 from the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also completed a Designated Emphasis in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Her research asks how physical bodies serve as vehicles for the expression and reproduction of class inequalities. In particular, she examines how health-related behaviors like dietary choices and exercise are learned and transmitted as part of the process of intergenerational status transmission. These processes often work in different ways for women and men and, she argues, they place a particular burden on women who are pregnant or recently postpartum. Because of the porous boundaries between the bodies of mother and child during pregnancy and breastfeeding, women are expected to discipline their own body-care practices in service of their child's health and future prospects.

Her work on these issues has been published in Social Problems, Social Politics, Sociology Compass, and Fat Studies. Additionally, she is currently working on a book project that deals with these questions, with the working title of Bearing Class. And with Natalie Boero, she is coeditor of the Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment (2020).

Dr. Mason can be reached at mason_katherine@wheatoncollege.edu.