Stacy J. Williams
I am an advanced Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. I study social movements, gender, culture, and food. I am especially interested in how food and cooking plays a role in social movements. My dissertation examines how feminists, from suffragists to 1970s women's liberationists, have made claims about cooking to advance their political goals. I use mixed methods, including interviews, archival research, and textual analysis of cookbooks.
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My research examines how gender becomes relevant in two different social spaces: the kitchen and the corporate office. In my doctoral research, I examine how feminists have strategically used cooking to advance their political goals. In separate research with Mary Blair-Loy, we study executive men’s decisions about work and family.
My dissertation, “Recipes for Resistance: Feminist Political Discourse About Cooking, 1875-1985,” examines the role of cooking in the temperance, suffrage, liberal second-wave, and radical second-wave feminist movements. I study feminist cookbooks and articles about cooking in feminist newsletters and magazines. I find that feminists have used cooking to draw boundaries between themselves and others, and they leverage these boundaries in ways that are politically strategic. In a paper in Social Movement Studies, I show how feminists also used cookbooks—symbols of traditional femininity—to advance more radical political arguments about gender equality. I also argue that feminists have politicized the kitchen by considering how cooking in particular ways can model their political goals within the home.
My doctoral project contributes to key theoretical concerns within several sociological subfields. First, I contribute to social movement theory by showing how everyday life becomes implicated in social movements. I also engage with cultural theory by demonstrating how daily action, usually discussed by sociologists as something that contributes to the static and unchanging nature of society, can become a site of social change. For studies of inequality, I explain how subordinate groups attempt to gain power and express agency by subversively engaging in an activity that is usually seen as disempowering. Finally, I show that cooking can play a role in social change that goes beyond food-related issues like the organic or slow food movement.
Work-Family Research (with Mary Blair-Loy)
We examine the cultural logics that lead executive men to “opt in” to demanding careers. We extend Mary Blair-Loy’s work in Competing Devotions by showing that many executive men are driven by the “work devotion schema,” a cultural, taken-for-granted understanding that work is a moral calling that deserves single-minded dedication. Because the work devotion schema is closely linked to the dominant cultural understanding of manhood, executive men’s extreme commitment to work enhances their performance of masculinity.
Williams, Stacy J. Forthcoming. “Personal Prefigurative Politics: Cooking Up an Ideal Society in the Woman’s Temperance and Woman’s Suffrage Movements, 1870-1920.” The Sociological Quarterly.
Blair-Loy, Mary and Stacy J. Williams. Forthcoming. “Meanings of Work for Executive Men in the United States.” In Work-Family Dynamics and the Competing Logics of Regulation, Economy and Morals, eds. Berit Brandth, Sigtona Halrynjo and Elin Kvande. London: Routledge.
Blair-Loy, Mary and Stacy J. Williams. Forthcoming. “Devoted Workers, Breadwinning Fathers: The Case of Executive Men in the United States.” Fathers in Work Organizations: Inequalities and Capabilities, Rationalities, and Politics, eds. Mechtild Oechsle and Brigitte Liebig. Leverkusen: Barbara Budrich Publishers.
Williams, Stacy J. 2016. “Subversive Cooking in Liberal Feminism, 1963-1985.” Pp. 265–86 in Gender and Food: From Production to Consumption and After, vol. 22, Advances in Gender Research, edited by M. T. Segal and V. Demos. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. (link)
Williams, Stacy J. 2016. “Hiding Spinach in the Brownies: Frame Alignment in Suffrage Community Cookbooks, 1886-1916.” Social Movement Studies. 15(2):146-63. (link)
Williams, Stacy J. 2014. “A Feminist Guide to Cooking.” Contexts 13:59-61. (link)
Blair-Loy, Mary and Stacy J. Williams. 2013. “The Male Model of Career.” Pp. 549-552 in Sociology of Work: an Encyclopedia, ed. Vicki Smith. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
I believe that students are most engaged with learning when they do research. By completing primary research, students master central concepts, learn to be critical and discerning consumers of media, and realize how to turn their curiosity about the world into the production of new knowledge. My courses empower students to independently recognize and investigate social forces in the world around them.
Instructor of RecordSummer Session 2014
I planned and taught Gender & Work, an upper-division Sociology course (18 students), at UCSD. This course covered gendered social patterns in both paid and unpaid work, including the gendered pay gap, occupational segregation, the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, and work-family conflict. Students learned the gender theory about social processes that have shaped these work issues, including gendered cultural expectations and interactions. I taught an intersectional approach, explaining how gender intersects with other categories like race and class to create different patterns and lived experiences. Students completed research projects that applied these gender theories to a variety of occupations to explain various measures of inequality.
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Teaching Assistant2012 Fall
Introduction to Sociology. Lower division course, 29 students in each of 2 sections. University of California, San Diego.
Quantitative Methods. Graduate course, 15 students. University of California, San Diego.
Gender & Work. Upper division course, 40 students. University of California, San Diego
Sociology of Food. Upper division course, 220 students. University of California, San Diego
Sociology of Food. Upper division course, 176 students. University of California, San Diego