I am a sociologist and a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (expected June 2019).
My dissertation, “From Pervert to Predator: Law, Medicine, Media, and the Construction of Contemporary Sexual Deviance,” investigates how legal, medical, and cultural institutions construct the meaning of “sexual predators” in California’s 1996 Sexually Violent Predator Act, which defines and regulates sexual predation as a pathological mental illness. Drawing on three years of fieldwork; interviews with experts working in adjacent fields of law, medicine, politics, and advocacy; and legal and media content analysis, the project paints a picture of how social and institutional mechanisms work in tandem to define and regulate sexually predatory behavior. This dissertation contributes to growing critical feminist legal literature exploring the productive and symbolic functions of law, cultural sociological studies on the relationship between institutions and social meaning, and literature on the relationship between state power and the regulation of sexualities.
This project is part of my broader sociological research agenda, which focuses on gender and sexualities, crime and deviance, sociology of law, cultural sociology, and institutional analysis.
When I'm not working, I enjoy hiking with my dog, playing roller derby with the LA Derby Dolls, and doing the NY Times Crossword. I'm also learning to play the accordion.