Leslie Salzinger (1987)

Associate Professor, Women's Studies, UC Berkeley

When I applied to graduate school, a mentor suggested any social science degree would do. How wrong she was! Any education worth its salt is transformative. Certainly Berkeley sociology transformed me. Graduate school (classmates at least as much as faculty) changed the world I saw and inhabited, revealing 'structure' wherever I looked. Since then, I use the language of structure more rarely like many others I've come to be as interested in surfaces as hidden bones, and in contingencies as much as determinations. But the conviction that individual lives are patterned beyond our single skins, and an intuition for how one might make that visible, legible, maybe even movable, has become a fundamental part of who I am.I left Berkeley for the University of Chicago, where I was lucky enough to continue to be student as well as teacher turning increasingly to anthropology and history. My book, Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico's Global Factories (2003), was slow in coming, and so bears the marks of those shifts. Today I'm about to make another move, to Boston College, seeking a place where my closest colleagues can be inside as well as outside sociology. I've also begun shifting my attention from the economy as context to the economy as object. I'm currently studying finance looking to delineate how meanings and subjectivities shape, organize and constitute economic processes, and thus to help chip away at their status as forces of nature that operate beyond our reach.

Dissertation Title: 
Genders in Production: Making Workers in Mexico's Global Factories
Dissertation Book Title: 
Gender Under Production: Constituting Subjects in Mexico's Global Factories
Berkeley