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 qualitative and experimental methods to explore how status and stigma operate to produce new forms of inequality related to gender, class, race, and health. She has examined these issues in new, costly therapeutic programs 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.

Areas of Study


Inequality and Stratification, Social Psychology, Gender, Health/Mental Health, Culture, Deviance, Qualitative Methods, Experimental Methods

Selected Publications


Pfaffendorf, Jessica. Forthcoming. “Wayward Elites: From Social Reproduction to Social Restoration at a Therapeutic Boarding School.” Social Psychology Quarterly.

  • Honorable mention, 2018 Social Psychology Section Graduate Student Paper Award, American Sociological Association.
  • Winner, 2015 Raymond V. Bowers Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper, University of Arizona.

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.” The Sociological Quarterly 59(3):407-423.

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 Sex and Gender Section Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award, American Sociological Association.
  • Reprinted 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, Healio, 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 in Health. Eds Nowakowski, Alexandra and J.E. Sumerau. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Publishing Group.

Reviews and Other Publications

Pfaffendorf, Jessica. Forthcoming. Review of Hegemonic Masculinity: Formulation, Reformulation, and Amplification by James Messerschmidt. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group. Men and Masculinities.

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

Jessica Pfaffendorf's picture

Contact Information

Jessica Pfaffendorf
Graduate Instructor
Office: Social Sciences 416

Please find an updated CV here.

Courses Taught


Research Methods

Gender Identities, Interactions, and Relationships

Juvenile Delinquency

Individuals, Groups, and Society