Born and raised in the Midwest, I hold a BA in Sociology Honors and Women's Studies (minors: Global Studies and English) from Purdue University where I was the College of Liberal Art's "2009 Outstanding Senior." I received my MA in Sociology from Indiana University-Bloomington, where I completed my thesis on government spending, mass public opinion, and sports.
Currently, I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at Indiana University-Bloomington. My areas of interest include family, identity and boundaries, politics, and research methods. My Qualifying Exam was on Family, and I minored in Social Science Research Methods. Currently I am working on several projects, including one examining changing attitudes towards children and another questioning whether heterosexual partnerships become more traditional in their tenure. I am chairing a Family section at the 2013 NCSA Annual Meeting and will present papers both there and at the 2013 ASA Annual Meeting.
Outside of academia, I enjoy traveling, dancing, being outdoors, and quality time with my family and pets (rough collie “Jet” and cats “Linus” and “Luna”). I was recently a finalist for a Swedish reality show and often work at music festivals for my sister’s company, Souldier.
“Innocence Lost? Changing Portrayals of Children, 1925-2006”
Abstract: The last century has witnessed remarkable changes in the lives of American families. Yet while children have been a central focus of the literature on such changes, research on shifting attitudes towards children is lacking. Following scholarship emphasizing humor as a particularly sensitive indicator of social attitudes, I utilize New Yorker cartoons from 1925-2006 to explore how the substantive nature of popular images of children have changed throughout the 21st century. Inductive analyses indicate that in earlier years, portrayals of innocent children and concerns with controlling the behavior of children make up nearly half of all cartoons. In later years, depictions of children are more varied, presenting children in educational settings, as an obstacle to parents’ personal and occupational freedom, and as victims of parents’ lifestyle decisions and negligence. Findings underscore the importance of empirical exploration for understanding the changing expectations of, roles of, and attitudes towards children in the United States.
“Partnership Duration and Household Division of Labor” (with Rebecca Grady and Jamie Oslawski-Lopez)
Abstract: Much of the current literature on family division of labor looks to spousal overwork, the transition from cohabitation to marriage, differing expectations of mothers and fathers, and unsupportive social institutions as reasons for the persistence of traditional gender arrangements. Less examined in this literature is the simpler question of whether partner relationships just become more traditional over time. Employing longitudinal analyses and drawing from gender and life course literatures, we explore the effect partnership duration has on shaping the work-family lives of men and women.
“Sports, Symbolic Politics, and Self-Interest: An Analysis of Public Opinion on Government Sports Spending” [Under Review]
Abstract: Research on public attitudes towards government spending has pointed to symbolic politics and self-interest as underlying causes of public spending preferences. Yet while scholars have examined a wide range of specific-policy areas, they have neglected to look at public spending on sports. Using data from the 2007 International Social Survey Programme “Leisure Time and Sports” Module, I develop a model of public opinion on government spending for sports depicting respondents’ views as a function of symbolic politics, self-interest, and demographic variables. My results suggest the combined importance of symbolic politics, self-interest, and demographics in shaping respondents’ views about government spending. A unique case that does not ascribe to one theory over another, this study underscores the importance of incorporating the political, cultural, and economic roles of sports into our understanding of Americans’ public policy preferences.
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