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Feminist sociologist Lorena Garcia to examine sexual lives and identity of Latina youth, April 1, 2015

Lorena Garcia is a highly regarded feminist sociologist whose work is at the intersections of Latina/o studies and gender and sexuality studies. She is the author of Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity, which received the 2013 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the American Sociological Association.

Her work on Latina sexual agency draws on her ethnographic research and interviews with Latina mothers and daughters and reveals complex negotiations around desire, respectability, good citizenship, and safety. Garcia challenges dominant social science frameworks that view the sexual lives of young women of color as a “social problem,” and focuses instead on the active choices young Latinas make.

Garcia’s talk, “Playin’ It Safe: Reframing the Lives of Latina Youth,” will be held on Wednesday, April 1, 5:30pm in Rockefeller Hall, room 300. This event is free and open to the public.

Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself has been widely praised. The American Journal of Sociology called it “an undeniably strong book that pushes research on youth sexuality and has much to offer gender, sexuality, and race scholars.” Northwestern University professor and Latina/o studies scholar Frances R. Aparicio writes, “Finally, a scholarly book that dismantles the dominant narratives that pathologize young, second-generation U.S. Latinas as hyper-sexualized and destined to be pregnant.”

Garcia received her Ph.D. in sociology with doctoral emphasis in women’s studies (now feminist studies) from University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research and teaching interests include gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, U.S. Latinas/os, and qualitative methods.  Her work has also been published in academic journals including Gender & Society, Latino Studies, and Identities: Global Studies in Power & Culture.

This lecture is sponsored by the Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program and cosponsored by the Office of Dean of Faculty, the Departments of Education and Sociology, and the Programs in American Studies and Women’s Studies.

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, March 10, 2015