Heather Albanesi (1991)

Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

After Berkeley I joined the sociology department of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Here I find myself (in common with what I understand to be a disproportionate number of Berkeley Sociology PhDs) as the theory personĀ and have the true pleasure of getting to teach the undergrad and graduate level theory courses. I credit my love for teaching theory primarily to the multiple opportunities I had to work as a GSI for Michael Burawoy teaching social theory (as well as Michael Kimmel and Jim Stockinger). I feel fortunate that I additionally get to teach basically any substantive course I want and have taught graduate and undergraduate courses in gender, sexuality, religion, class and culture. As I teach any of these courses I am continually reminded of those that mentored me at Berkeley: Hochschild, Chodorow, Swidler, Burawoy and Fligstein.

I think of myself as a gender sociologist with shifting research interests. In the first two years of my tenure track I gave birth to 3 children, which, combined with the prospect of transforming my dissertation into a book, created some pretty exquisite anxiety. That book, Gender and Agency: How Young People Make Choices about Sex, came out just about the time my kids were entering kindergarten. In my current research I have shifted away - at least for now - from studying heterosexuality. In a qualitative interview project that looks at the redshirting of kindergarteners, I focus on how class and gender factor into the perceived competitive advantage of starting children (primarily boys) in school a year after they are legally eligible.

Dissertation Title: 
Gender and Agency in the Negotiation of Intimate Heterosexual Encounters
Dissertation Book Title: