Until her recent retirement, Kristin Luker was Professor of Sociology and the Elizabeht Boalt Professor of Law. She is the author of many scholarly articles, as well as six books: Taking Chances: Abortion and the Decision Not to Contracept (1975), Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (1984) ,Dubious Conceptions: The Politics of Teenage Pregnancy (1996), When Sex Goes to School (2006), and Salsa Dancing Into the Social Sciences, (2008). In 2015 she published a casebook (with Melissa Murray) on the emerging field of reproductive justicea and the law.
Professor Luker has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Sociological Research Association, and was invited to the White House by President Clinton to discuss issues of politics and social policy. She has been awarded grants from the Spencer and Ford Foundations, as well as the Commonwealth Fund, and has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her book Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Her interests include sexual and reproductive behavior, gender, and the relationship between gender and the history of the social sciences in the United States and elsewhere. She plans to spend her retirement working on a book on the new politics of motherhood, and doing research and advocacy in the Center on Reproductive Rights And Justice (https://www.law.berkeley.edu/centers/center-on-reproductive-rights-and-justice/), which she founded.
Work in Progress
- "Transgendered Numbers: Truth and Authority at the Birth of Sociology."
- "The Future of Virginity", presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, in the process of being revised for publication.
- 2008 Salsa Dancing in the Social Sciences, Harvard University Press
- 2006 When Sex Goes to School, W.W. Norton.
- 1995 Dubious Conceptions: The Politics of the Teenage Pregnancy Crisis, Harvard University Press.
- 1984 Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood, University of California Press.
- 1975 Taking Chances: Abortion and the Decision Not to Contracept, University of California Press. (A second edition, with a new introduction, was published in 1991.)
Published Articles and Chapters
- 2006 "Young Single Mothers and 'Welfare Reform' in the United States," in Anne Daguerre and Corinne Nativel (eds.) When Children Become Parents: Welfare State Responses To Teenage Pregnancy (New York: Polity Press, 2006) (with Christine Carter)
- 1999 "A Reminder that Human Behavior Frequently Refuses to Conform to Models Created by Researchers." Family Planning Perspectives 31(5): 248-249. (1999)
- 1999 "Is Academic Sociology Politically Obsolete?" Contemporary Sociology, January 1999, 28 (1):5-10.
- 1998 "Sex, Social Hygiene and the Double-Edged Sword of Social Reform," Theory and Society 27: 601-634, 1998.
- 1996 "Does Liberalism Cause Sex?" (with Jane Mauldon), The American Prospect, Winter 1996.
- 1996 "The Effects of Sex Education on Contraceptive Behavior" (with Jane Mauldon), Family Planning Perspectives, March 1996.