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Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Ripon College (2012-2014)
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I received my Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan in 2012, and am currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Ripon College in Wisconsin (2012-2014).
My research focuses on the intersection of health and appearance in social life. In my dissertation, I explored the concept of “physical capital,” specifically as it is built up, exchanged, and used to negotiate status differences in personal trainer-client relationships. Also in my dissertation, I investigated the increasing medicalization of exercise—how it is prescribed by doctors as a treatment for the obesity "epidemic,” and how personal trainers become “deputized” to carry out health work for their clients.
I have also written on the Sociology of Diagnosis and co-edited a volume in the Advances in Medical Sociology series. My other research has included a qualitative study of how appearance choices (clothing, hair style, tattoos) are connected to "post-closet" gay and lesbian identities; as well as a collaborative content analysis researching contemporary advice books to parents of gay and lesbian children.
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