Research

A symbolic interactionist at my “core,” my work examines how gender and sexual subjectivities are constituted in relation to, or alongside, structural forces such as neoliberalism. Below is an abstract of my most recent research.

(2022) Outsourced Exclusion: The Reproduction of Gender and Sexual Inequality in the Contemporary US Military

This research examines how LGBTQ military members and veterans understand their experiences in the increasingly inclusionary military. Drawing on 50 semi-structured in-depth interviews with LGBTQ military members and recently discharged veterans of the US military, I present three empirical cases in support of my concept of outsourced exclusion. While the US military is increasingly inclusionary, gender and sexual exclusion still persist, albeit in revised ways. I argue exclusion is implicitly outsourced to LGBTQ military members themselves who are the ideal neoliberal subjects. They inadvertently perform gender labor, and rely on narratives of resilience, professionalism, and patriotism, which help bolster access to organizational status and resources for some types of subjects at the expense of excluding others. In the military, hegemonic, neoliberal narratives of resilience, professionalism, and patriotism help ensure organizational control is maintained. This happens through the production of queer value by LGBTQ military members. This research contributes to understandings of “LGBTQ-friendly organizations,” diversity and inclusion, and intersections of neoliberalism, gender, and sexual exclusion.

(2023) UC Davis Undergraduate Research Seminar: Analyzing Narratives of LGBTQ Military Inclusion.”

Course Description (Winter Quarter, 2023):

I designed this course to use social science perspectives and center collaboration. It will focus on critical analyses of mainstream narratives of LGBTQ military inclusion in the US. No research experience is necessary, but students should have an interest in research related to gender, sexuality, and/or LGBTQ issues and/or an interest in critical theoretical approaches.

The first half of the course is devoted to an introduction to qualitative research methods, with a specific focus on the practice of content analysis. Students will also gain an introduction to contemporary research on LGBTQ workplace inclusion and its relationship with neoliberalism. In the second half of the course, students will gain skills and practice utilizing qualitative research methods to collect, code, and analyze data, write brief literature reviews, and report and present findings.

Each session will center around open discussion of the assigned week’s readings and/or research prompt. Students will be expected to informally present their ideas each week and collaborate both in and out of class. Students will build analytical, research, presentation, communication, and project management skills, but most importantly, they will actively interrogate “common-sense” claims of inclusion.

Educational Outcomes:

In this course, students will gain an introduction to conducting research at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and work. More specifically, students will actively cultivate a critical understanding of discourses and narratives of LGBTQ inclusion. Particular attention will be paid to feminist, queer, and critical theoretical approaches.

Additional Objectives Include:

  • Students will can an introduction to qualitative research practices and techniques.
  • Students will use evidence-based reasoning to to both independently and collaboratively analyze data for the purposes of scholarly exploration and discovery.
  • This course will serve as a research collaboration culminating in a preliminary co-authored report, article, or presentation with an audience to be determined by course participants.
  • Course participants will research existing literature on LGBTQ military and workplace inclusion, but will also take part in the iterative process of contributing new knowledge to existing scholarship.
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