Research

My primary area of research concerns bodies and social inequality. Specifically, I ask how human bodies—our size, shape, style, physical health, and the ways other people perceive these—affect and are affected by social inequalities. On one hand, to use Anne Fausto-Sterling's (2005) phrasing, "bodies imbibe culture": how our bodies look and function is shaped by our social environment. Beauty norms, as well as race- and class-specific cultural styles may influence our self-presentation, and disparate access to nutritious food, medical care, physically demanding work, or leisure time (to name just a few) affect our physical size and ability. On the other hand, our bodies contribute to social inequality because of what they communicate to others: people make judgments about our race, gender, class, values, and more based on how our bodies appear, subconsciously—or maybe consciously—shaping the way they treat us.

My secondary areas of research and writing include gender, sexuality, motherhood, and reproductive labor.


Books in Progress

The Reproduction of Inequality: How Class Shapes Pregnant Bodies and Infant Health (anticipated 2023, monograph in production with NYU Press)

Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Body and Embodiment (co-edited with Natalie Boero, currently under contract)

Articles and Book Chapters

"Race and the Body." (2021) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer and Chris Rojek.

"Toward a Sociology of the Body." (2020, co-authored with Natalie Boero). Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment, edited by Natalie Boero and Katherine Mason. New York: Oxford University Press.

“Gendered Embodiment.” (2018). Handbook of the Sociology of Gender, 2nd Edition, edited by Barbara Risman, Carissa Froyum, and William Scarborough. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

“Gendering Social Reproduction.” (2018, co-authored with Dawn Dow). The Social Life of Gender, edited by Abigail Andrews, Jennifer Carlson, and Raka Ray. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

“‘Won’t Someone Think of the Children?’ Reproductive Futurism and Same-Sex Marriage in U.S. Courts, 2003-2015.” (2017) Sexuality Research and Social Policy (published online March 30, 2017).

“Women, Infants, and (Fat) Children: Hidden ‘Obesity Epidemic’ Discourse and the Practical Politics of Health Promotion at WIC.” (2016) Fat Studies 5(2): 116-136.

“Responsible Bodies: Self-Care and State Power in the Women, Infants, and Children Program.” (2016) Social Politics 23(1): 70-93.

“Social Stratification and the Body: Gender, Race, and Class.” (2013) Sociology Compass 7(8): 686-698.

“The Unequal Weight of Discrimination: Gender, Body Size, and Income Inequality.” (2012) Social Problems 59(3): 411-435.

  • Reprinted in The Gendered Society Reader, 6th Edition (2016), edited by Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson. New York: Oxford University Press.