I went to Berkeley in sociology at the encouragement of wonderful faculty at Hampshire College. Until I got on the plane to Berkeley, I'd virtually never been out of New England, and I arrived thinking graduate school took four years, just like undergrad. After a tough first semester, I became inspired by the political and intellectual climate at Berkeley. Courses on feminism, sexuality, race, and psychoanalysis with Chodorow, Almaguer, Blauner, Luker, Hochschild, and Rogin were influential in developing my understanding of gender, sexuality and the self in everyday life. Just as important were the continuous conversations with my fellow graduate students, especially Elizabeth Armstrong and Arona Ragins, that took place in cafes all over Berkeley and that integrated the personal, academic, and political.
After finishing my dissertation, I got a job at the University of Michigan, where I am now an Associate Professor. My dissertation became a book with Routledge, and since then I have done research on how children's bodies are gendered in preschool and on how gender identity shapes labor and childbirth. I am currently finishing a project on the appearance routines of college women and starting a new one on parenting experts and gender, called, "William Wants a Doll. Can He Have One?" In my teaching and mentoring I try to teach students what I learned at Berkeley--how to think critically about the taken for granted, everyday, social world.