Q&A: Adia Harvey Wingfield on sociology, women and the path ahead

Adia Harvey Wingfield, professor of sociology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, recently was elected president of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), a national organization dedicated to improving the social position of women through feminist sociological research and writing.

Wingfield begins her one-year term as president-elect in February, when SWS holds its winter meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. She will be responsible for planning the organization’s next winter meeting and will serve as its president through 2018.

Wingfield’s research focuses on social processes that maintain racial and gender inequality in professional occupations. She is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and the author of several books, most recently “No More Invisible Man: Race and Gender in Men’s Work” (Temple University Press).

Here, she comments on her plans for SWS, sociology and gender research, and why academics need to engage in public discourse.

Could you give some background on the organization and what you’re hoping to accomplish as its president?

As the name suggests, the sociologists in our organization focus on issues facing women in society, but we realize there’s a lot of ground to cover in this category. We’re interested in the issues facing women in families, work, school and other settings, but we also explore the challenges facing women of color, women in queer or trans communities, and women of different religious or ethnic backgrounds. Following the recent election, there are many women in these groups who are feeling vulnerable. We’ve seen a real spike in hate crimes and violence, so the fear they’re feeling is not irrational. It’s a visceral response to a real and substantial threat. 

Read more at The Source

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