Department of Sociology

PhD Recipients, Dissertations, and Positions


Dissertation Title: Out in Front: How LGBQ Women and Genderqueer Clergy Navigate Religious Communities

Managing Research Specialist, Isaacson Miller

Dissertation Title: No Roadmap? No Problem: First Generation Students’ Cultural Assets and the Path to Undergraduate Success

Researcher, Forrester Market Research


Kimberly Lucas

Dissertation Title: “We Have to Do It All”: How Family Child Care Providers Negotiate the Boundaries of Care

Professor of Practice, Northeastern University School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Dissertation Title: Constructing Jewish Lives: Emerging Adults and the Jewish Cultural Toolkit

Research Associate, PEW Research Center

Alexandria Vasquez

Dissertation Title: Misfit: The Impact of Mismatched Jobs on Creative Workers and the Organizations that Employ Them

Founder and Designer, Herderin


Julia Bandini

Dissertation Title: Beyond the Hour of Death: End-of-Life Decision Making and Family Experiences of Grief and Bereavement

Associate Behavioral and Social Scientist, Rand Corporation


Dissertation Title: The Geography of Middle Class Economic Security: Does Location Matter?

Senior Program Associate, John T. Gorman Foundation 

Rachel Madsen

Dissertation Title: Affordable Housing's Place in Regional Sustainability: How Local Dynamics Affect Policy Implementation and Pursuits of Social Equity

Director of Assessment, Wake Technical Community College

Dissertation Title: Challenging Autism: Exploration of the Neurodiversity and Alternative Biomedical Movements

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Vassar College

Dissertation Title: Ready for Work: Preparing Low-Income Adults for Work through Job Readiness Training

Deputy Director, Community Development Research & Communications, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Dissertation Title(In)visible Boundaries: A Socio-Spatial Study of Public Spaces in Tehran

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, Rice University


Dissertation: Women with Hearts as Wide as the World: Gender, Race and Inequality in Women's Transnational Religious Organizations

Brian Fair

Dissertation: Youth Hockey in South Boston: Sport and Community in an Urban Neighborhood

Dissertation: When Law Comes to Town: Participation and Discourse in Fair Share Affordable Housing Hearings

Assistant Professor, Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies, Emerson College

Dissertation: The Hampton Way: Collaborative Governance and Youth Civic Engagement in an American City

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, Compass Program, Merrimack College


Dissertation:  The Rise of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Coaching: The Social Meanings and Policy Implications of a New Approach for Managing ADHD

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Criminology, Villanova University

Dissertation: The JUBUs: The Encounter between Judaism and Buddhism in America 

Executive Director of Impact and Performance Assessment, UJA Federation of New York

Dissertation: Living and Dying with Colorectal Cancer: The Experience and Management of a Mortal Disease

Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Rebekah Zincavage

Dissertation: My Sibling's Keeper: Mental Illness, Family Dynamics, and Responsibility Among Adult Siblings

Associate Research Scientist, New England Research Institutes, Watertown, MA


Dissertation:  "It Is Here That I Remember My Beloved": Memorials and Commemorations in Post-Genocide Rwanda

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, California State University Sacramento

Dissertation: Cultural Health Capital, Emotion Management, and the Reproduction of Inequality in the case of Life-Threatening Childhood Illness

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Dissertation: Extending Psychotrophic Medication Oversight for Children in Foster Care: A Sociological and Econometric Examination of State Monitoring Mechanisms

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Systems & Policy, Rutgers University School of Public Health


Dissertation: Managing Food Allergies, Preserving Childhoods

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Colorado College

Dissertation: DREAMers Rising: Constituting the Undocumented Student Immigrant Movement

Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA

Jill Smith

Dissertation: The Role of Independent Educational Consultants in the College Application Process


Dissertation: "Obstructive Sleep Apnea as a patient contested disease: Pathways to and away from medicalization"

Senior Lecturer (with Tenure), Department of Sociology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel


Dissertation: Is Hooking Up Empowering for College Women? A Feminist Gramscian Perspective 

Research Program Director, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies

Dissertation: The Construction of Ethnic Subjects in the Israeli Middle Class

Head of the Undergraduate Program, School of Behavioral Sciences and Psychology, College of Management, Israel

Dissertation: Foreclosure Through the Eyes of Real Estate Agents in Boston: An Institutional Ethnography

Associate, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA

Zehra Yasmin Zaidi

Dissertation: Chaddars and Pink Collars in Pakistan: Gender, Work and the Global Economy

Director, Center for Gender and Policy Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan


Ken (Chih-Yan) Sun

Dissertation: Aging Across Borders: The Case of Older Taiwanese Immigrants and Their Return Counterparts

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Villanova University

Dissertation: Expanding the Reproductive Body: The Emergence of Preconception Care, 1980-2010

Associate Professor of Sociology, Rice University


Dissertation: Pleasure for Sale: Feminist Sex Stores

Professor and Sociology Area Coordinator, Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, NY

Dissertation: Youth Empowering Youth: Collective Processes in Making Independent Media

Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA

Dissertation: Negotiating Identity: Elite Institutions, Low Income First generation College Students, and Their Parents

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, PA


Dissertation: Constructing the Good Enough Family: Child Welfare Decision-Making in the ASFA ERA

Dissertation: The Experience of Living With Measured Risk: The Cases of Elevated PSA and Cholesterol Levels as Proto-Illnesses

Dissertation'Teach Us, Don’t Tell Us:' Young Adults With Interfaith Parents Choose Their Religious and Ethnic Identities

Dissertation: The Process of a 'Risk Scare:' The Cases of Hormone Replacement Therapy, Silicone Breast Implants, and Antidepressant Therapy in Youth


Dissertation: W. I. Thomas and the Sociology of Sex Differences

DissertationAcupuncture Worlds in Argentina: Contested Knowledge, Legitimation Processes, and Everyday Practices


DissertationUncommon Partners: Citizen Participation and Lay-Professional Relationships in Three Community Collaboratives for Children's Mental Health

Jillian Dickert

DissertationFrom Welfare to Social Care? A Comparative Analysis of Welfare State Restructuring, Mobilization Strategies, and Social Policy Change in the United States

Benjamin Phillips

DissertationNumbering the Jews: Evaluating and Improving American Jewish Population Studies

Johanna Wigg

DissertationA Culture of Dementia: Examining Interpersonal Relationships between Elders with Dementia


Rafael Hernandez-Arias

DissertationUse of Population Categories as Variables in U.S. Health Research: Furthering Reifications while Hindering Explanations

Paul Hess

DissertationBureaucracy versus Total Quality Management: A Sociological Theory of Classing Systems

Heather Jacobson

DissertationCulture Keeping: White Mothers, International Adoption, and the Social Construction of Race and Ethnicity

Jennifer Zoltanski

DissertationThe Construction of Rape as a Crime against Humanity: Recognition and Prosecution by the International Crime Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia


Oliver Benoit

Dissertation: Causes of Social Change and Conflict, and the Emergence of a National Consciousness in Grenada

Deborah Cohan

DissertationRage and the Sociological Imagination

Mignon Duffy

DissertationOne Hundred Years of Buying Care: Gender, Race, Immigration, and Market Care Work in the Twentieth Century

Anastasia Norton

DissertationU Da Sembe Fa Aki (We Are People of this Place) Place-Attachment and Belonging: A Saramaka Response to Globalization

Debra Osnowitz

DissertationMarketing Expertise: The Contingent Experience of Contract Professionals


Tobin Belzer

DissertationJewish Identity at Work

Sadhana Bery

DissertationEvidentiary Whiteness: The Re/Production of White Praxis

Karen Werner

DissertationA Sociology of Contemporary Activist Art (1990-2003)


Lawrence Holcomb

DissertationRevisiting Race: Toward An Analytic Social-Psychological Approach to Racial Construction

Mathew Johnson

DissertationSocial Class and Cultural (Re)production in Higher Education: An Ethnographic Look at the Culture of Student Affairs Offices

Christa Kelleher

DissertationPostpartum Matters: Women's Experiences of Medical Surveillance, Time and Support After Birth

Katrin Kriz

DissertationWelfare States and Emotional Risk: Family Policy Gaps and Childcare Maintenance by Employed Mothers in Britain, Germany and Sweden


Kathleen Jenkins

Dissertation'Awesome Families': Reforming Family in the International Churches of Christ


Valerie Leiter

DissertationGentle Intrusions: Family-Centered Care in Early Intervention

Jonathan Martin

DissertationStew of Discontent: Middle Class Americans' Economic Populism


Christian John Churchill

DissertationThe Calling: Bureaucracy, Technology and Ideology in the Telefundraising Industry

Jeany Elson

Dissertation'Am I Still a Woman?': An Analysis of Gynecological Surgery and Gender Identity

Mary Godwyn

DissertationIs Sociological Theory Useful in Cases of Extreme Inequality?"

T.L. Taylor

DissertationLiving Digitally: Embodiment in Virtual Environments

Tony Vogt

DissertationBorder Fish: Salmon Crises, Environmental Imaginaries, and the Politics of Sustainability


Monisha Das Gupta

DissertationIdentities, Interests and Alternative Spaces: Transnational Perspectives on South Asian Political Participation in the U.S.

Faith Ferguson

DissertationKin Keepers and Gatekeepers: Kinship and Family Identity among Single Mothers by Choice

Victoria Pitts

DissertationBody Strategies: Signifying the Body in Subculture

David Shafer

DissertationRespiratory Therapists on the Edge: Technology, Professions, and Medical Work

Elizabeth Wood

DissertationWorking in the Fantasy Factory: Interaction, Intimacy and the Construction of Power in Strip Clubs


Amy Agigian

DissertationContradictory Conceptions: Lesbian Alternative Insemination

Betsy Aron

DissertationThe Ecology of Trade Unionism in New England

Ben Davidson

DissertationEcstasy: An Inquiry Into Gay Male Identity and Contemporary Culture

Cameron Macdonald

DissertationWorking Mothers and Mother-workers: Nannies, Au Pairs and the Social Construction of Mothering

Angela Thompson

DissertationUnveiled: The Emotion Work of Wedding Coordinators in the American Wedding Industry

Farzin Vahdat

DissertationGod and the Juggernaut: Iran's Intellectual Encounter with Modernity


Gwenn C. Eylath

DissertationMarching and Watching: the Sociological Meaning of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Pride March

Harriett Elizabeth Hayes

DissertationBuilding a Learning Community: A Case Study of an Independent High School

Marcia R. Hood-Brown (deceased)

DissertationMaking the Impossible Space: Communicative Practice, Radical Feminism, and Prostitution

Robert A. Irwin

DissertationHierarchy, Egalitarian Politics, and the Structure and Effectiveness of Social Movement Organizations

Hilary Loring

DissertationThe Power of the Ordinary in Self-Transformation: Theory and Empirical Analysis

Ana Filomena de Fatima Barbosa Monteiro de Macedo

DissertationRosa Luxemburg's Contribution to Feminist Critical Thought: A New Conception of Emancipatory Politics