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Sara  Crawley

Sara Crawley

Sara Crawley
Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director


Office: CPR 223
Phone: (813) 974 0977
Fax: (813) 974 6455



Dr. Crawley’s areas of interest include gender and sexualities theories, queer and feminist theory, qualitative methods, social psychology and sociology of sport.  Her work focuses on constructions of self and social impacts on the physical body.  She has published articles in Gender & Society, The Sociological Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Hypatia, Cultural Studies<-->Critical Methodologies, and International Review for the Sociology of Sport.  Her book, Gendering Bodies (Rowman & Littlefield 2008), co-authored with Lara Foley and Constance Shehan, extends existing theories of gender performativity via symbolic interactionism to demonstrate the social impacts of gender on physical bodies in such everyday settings as work, sports and sexuality.  Her current book project, tentatively titled The Butch/Femme Game, is based on interviews and field work with lesbians in the South and theorizes the relationship between heteronormativity in everyday talk and the formation of lesbian selves.

Personal Bio

Why does a person’s sex matter? By sex, I mean both sex category (that is, so-called “biological sex”) and sexuality (that is, having sex or uses of the body). Bodily composition doesn’t actually have to matter in the social world. Why is it such an important characteristic for social organization? When and where does it matter? Is there a place or moment when sex is not made to matter? I haven’t found it.

As a social theorist and social psychologist, I am continually intrigued by the ways humans create order in our lives, especially how we order our identities--sameness and differences, and often inequalities -- into gendered, racialized, class-based, and sexuality-based experiences. I am fascinated by the ways these experiences organize the mind and embodiment and energized by a pedagogy that theorizes with students how social order organizes their own lives and performances of self. I am interested in unruly bodies.

My substantive research interests center on feminist gender and sexualities theories, symbolic interactionism, social theory, and interpretive research methods. The central thread running through my research is a concern for how sex category creates social barriers for people and the ways in which people narrate, negotiate, and resist accountability to gendered and sexualized expectations. Most recently, I have become interested in the epistemological concerns of how knowing is affected by experiences with the body and “types” of socially recognizable bodies (such as, “women’s” bodies, “lesbian” or “butch” bodies, “transgendered” bodies). My particular research interests include non-normative performances of gender and the self (especially butch, femme and transgender identities), power relations in social movements (for example, sexism and racism among gay men and lesbians in political organizing), and the ways in which gender structures sport and sport structures women’s bodies. This work spans several subfields of Sociology and Women’s Studies drawing from various theorists including gender theory (West & Zimmerman; Butler), postmodernism/queer theory and the body (Foucault; Plummer; Sedgwick), symbolic interaction and social psychology (Mead, Schutz, Goffman), masculinities and sociology of sport (Kimmel; Messner), and a variety of forms of feminist theory (Hill Collins; Lorber, Dorothy Smith; Marilyn Frye).

In addition to my scholarly commitment to Sociology, I retain strong ties to the field of Women’s Studies by regularly publishing in and reviewing for national and international journals in both Sociology and Women’s Studies. To date I have co-authored a book, Gendering Bodies (with Lara Foley and Connie Shehan, 2007, Rowman & Littlefield), and my research and writing has appeared in Gender & Society, Feminism and Psychology, Feminist Teacher, Hypatia, The Sociological Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Lesbian Studies, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies (a research annual edited by Norman K. Denzin), International Review for the Sociology of Sport, The Handbook of Constructionist Research, The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research, and The Handbook of Autoethnography.


Ph.D., University of Florida, 2002

Graduate Students

Jessica Altice, Jennifer Earles, Mary Catherine Whitlock

Current Courses

RefCourseSecCourse TitleCRDayTimeLocation
53776SYG 2000001Introduction to Sociology


CPR 255
55983SYA 7980003Doctoral Dissertation