Jessica Pfaffendorf

About Jessica Pfaffendorf


Jessica is a PhD candidate in the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona. Her research explores the social psychological and cultural underpinnings of inequality among individuals. Active projects use experimental and qualitative methods to explore how issues of identity and stigma intersect to produce new forms of gender, class, and racial inequality. She has examined these issues in therapeutic settings for privileged youth as well as in employment outcomes for ex-offenders and individuals with mental illnesses.

Jessica holds an MA in sociology from the University of Arizona and a BA in sociology from Augsburg College where she was a Ronald E. McNair fellow.

Selected Publications


Bjorklund, Eric, Andrew P. Davis, and Jessica Pfaffendorf. Forthcoming. “Urine or You’re Out: Racialized Economic Threat and the Determinants of State-Level Drug Testing Requirements for Welfare Applicants.” The Sociological Quarterly.

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.

  • Honorable Mention, 2018 ASA Sex and Gender Section Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award.
  • Forthcoming reprint in Men’s Lives (10th Edition), edited by Michael Kimmel and Michael Messner. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 2016 Raymond V. Bowers Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper, University of Arizona.
  • In the Press: Science Daily, Science Newsline, Psychology Central, MEL Magazine, UA News

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. 2017. "Reflections on Rehab: Navigating the Disparate System of Substance Abust Treatment." In Negotiating the Challenges of Conducting Deeply Personal Research. Eds Nowakowski, Alexandra and J.E. Sumerau. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Publishing Group.

Media Writing

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. 2017. “From Typical Dudes to Sensitive Men: Gender Dilemmas in a Therapeutic Boarding School.” Invited post for the Sociologists for Women in Society’s Gender & Society blog.


Jessica Pfaffendorf's picture

Contact Information

Jessica Pfaffendorf
Graduate Instructor
Office: Social Sciences 416


Courses Taught

Research Methods

Gender Identities, Interactions and Relationships

Juvenile Delinquency

Individuals, Groups, and Society