Jessica Pfaffendorf

Assistant Professor

Picture of Jessica Pfaffendorf

Biography

Jessica is a sociologist whose research explores the social reproduction of inequality from a social psychological and cultural perspective. In her current work, she is particularly interested in how inequalities related to gender, class, and race persist in the face of social change that seems to point in progressive directions. Her work appears in Social Psychology Quarterly, Gender & Society, The Sociological Quarterly, ​​​​​​​Sociological Inquiry, and a number of other public and press outlets including Science Daily, Science MagazineMEL Magazine, and The Society Pages. Her work has also received recognition from the American Sociological Association's sections on Social Psychology and Sex & Gender. 

Jessica received her BA from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota before moving to the Sonoran Desert to complete a PhD at the University of Arizona. She is a proud McNair Scholar and first-generation college student.

Teaching and Research Interests

Inequality, Social Psychology, Culture, Gender, Qualitative Methods, Experimental Methods

Publications

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. Forthcoming. “The Double Disadvantage: Using Status and Stigma Processes to Understand Race, Criminal Record, and Moral Expectations in Employment.” Advances in Group Processes.

​​​​​​​Pfaffendorf, Jessica, Andrew P. Davis, and Alexander Kinney. Forthcoming. “Masculinity, Ritual, and Racialized Status Threat: Examining Mass Shooter Manifestos Using Structural Topic Models.” Sociological Inquiry.

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. 2019. “Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration at a Therapeutic Boarding School.” Social Psychology Quarterly 82(2): 113-133.

  • Honorable mention, Award for Best Graduate Student Paper, American Sociological Association Social Psychology Section, 2018.

Bjorklund, Eric, Andrew P. Davis, and Jessica Pfaffendorf. 2018. “Urine or You’re Out: Racialized Economic Threat and the Determinants of State-Level Drug Testing Requirements for Welfare Applicants in the United States, 2009-2015.” The Sociological Quarterly 59(3): 407-423.

  • Featured in The Society Pages.

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. 2017. “Sensitive Cowboys: Privileged Young Men and the Mobilization of Hybrid Masculinities in a Therapeutic Boarding School.” Gender & Society 31(2): 197-222.

  • Reprinted in Men’s Lives (10th Edition), edited by Michael Kimmel and Michael Messner. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Honorable mention, Sally Hacker Award for Best Graduate Student Paper, American Sociological Association Sex and Gender Section, 2018.
  • In the Press: Science Daily, Science Magazine, Psychology Central, MEL Magazine, Healio, UA News

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. 2017. “Reflections on Rehab: Navigating the Disparate System of Substance Abuse Treatment.” In Negotiating the Challenges of Conducting Deeply Personal Research in Health, edited by Alexandra Nowakowski and J.E. Sumerau. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Publishing Group.

Education

  • PhD in Sociology from University of Arizona, 2019
  • MA in Sociology from University of Arizona, 2013
  • BA in Sociology from Augsburg College, 2011