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Gender Studies News

Michael Messner, who has taught sociology at USC Dornsife for 27 years, will be honored with the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) Feminist Mentoring Award at an August 18 ceremony in San Francisco. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Messner Wins Feminist Mentoring Award

August 5, 2014

Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies at USC Dornsife, will receive the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) Feminist Mentoring Award on August 18 at a banquet and awards ceremony, held at the City Club…

Selfie-Esteem

May 5, 2014

In a recent Barbra Streisand Lecture, sociologist Eva Illouz said the interactive format E L James used to write <em>Fifty Shades of Grey</em> allowed her to incorporate readers’ feedback, including their own fantasies and desired plot twists. Photos by Erica Christianson.

Hard Core Self-Help

February 6, 2014

Anyone who claims not to have at least heard of E L James’ erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey is either fibbing or has been living on a remote desert island with no Internet access for the past three years. The…

Lois Banner, retiring professor of history and gender studies who wrote a book about Marilyn Monroe, holds up Monroe's favorite photo of herself by Cecil Beaton and an original oil painting belonging to Monroe by Parisian artist Poucette titled "La Toureau" (the Bull). Photo by Susan Andrews.

A Banner Day

January 16, 2014

As a young professor in the 1960s, Lois Banner was moved by history. She had no idea at the time that she would play such a vital part in it. With ambitions to push forward the nascent field of women’s history, she…

Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business, contradicts David Buss' well-known study concluding that men and women differ in what they look for in a partner because they are wired differently. Wood said people choose mates based on what will be useful to them in their society. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Baby, I Love Your Way

May 6, 2013

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, if you're not into yoga, if you have half a brain . . . The lyrics to this popular ’70s song make choosing a mate sound simple. But Wendy Wood knows…

This woman in her early 20s was trafficked into a blue jean sweatshop in Thailand, where she and others were locked in and made to work 20 hours a day, sleeping on the floor, with little to eat and no pay. She managed to escape and was brought to the government-run Baan Kredtrakarn shelter in Bangkok. After telling her story to the director, the police were informed and they raided the sweatshop, freeing 38 young women, ages 14 to 26. Photo by Kay Chernush for the U.S. State Department.

Prosecution to Empowerment

February 6, 2013

Emblematic of the shallow level of dialogue taking place concerning human trafficking is the “celebritization” of the global crisis, panelists said during a recent international conference organized by USC…

USC Dornsife's Michael Messner receives the 2012 Jessie Bernard Award from Judith Howard, professor and divisional dean of social sciences at the University of Washington's College of Arts & Sciences, during a ceremony in Denver, Colo. Photo courtesy of the American Sociological Association.

Messner Receives 2012 Jessie Bernard Award

August 21, 2012

Michael Messner, professor of sociology and gender studies in USC Dornsife, is the first man to be honored with the Jessie Bernard Award, given in recognition of scholarly work that has broadened the horizons of sociology to…

USC Dornsife's Jack Halberstam explores society's evolving gender roles in his book, <em>Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal</em>, due out this September from Beacon Press. Photo of Halberstam by Assaf Evron.

Feminism Goes Gaga

August 9, 2012

On stage and off, Lady Gaga seems to be an ever-evolving performance piece dominating the media landscape. But in Gaga’s anarchic, gender-bending public persona, Jack Halberstam sees a mirror — one reflecting a…

A leader in the field of women's studies and history, USC Dornsife's Lois Banner has written a new book breaking stereotypes that have haunted Marilyn Monroe since her death at age 36 a half century ago. Banner photo by Roger Snider.

The 50-Year Itch

August 1, 2012

Marilyn Monroe’s biographers haven’t always been kind. Since she was found dead in her Brentwood, Calif., home on Aug. 5, a half-century ago, she’s been portrayed anywhere from bimbo and victim to tempestuous…

USC Dornsife's 2011–12 Streisand Professor Lecture Series, “Where Is The Love?” concludes April 9 with sociologist Paula England, among the most influential gender scholars of our time, discussing America’s changing family patterns, sexual behavior and labor markets.

People Who Need People

April 5, 2012

In the old days, we poured our hearts out in “Dear John” letters. Now, breaking up is easy. Just send a text: “Dear Baby, Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You.” Instant messaging, texting, Facebook…