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Jessica Pfaffendorf

Assistant ProfessorSociology

Picture of Jessica Pfaffendorf


Jessica is a sociologist whose research explores the social psychological and cultural underpinnings of inequality among individuals. Specifically, her research follows two substantive streams. In the first, she uses ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews to examine how experiences and outcomes are stratified vis-à-vis gender, class, and race in new therapeutic programs for privileged youth. In the second, she uses experimental methods to build a general theory of how being stigmatized magnifies status-based disadvantage. Her work appears in Social Psychology Quarterly, Gender & Society, The Sociological Quarterly, and a number of press and public outlets.

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 Scholars alum and first-generation college student.

Teaching and Research Interests

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