Areas of Expertise:
gender | gender neutrality | sexual harassment | body weight | weight-based discrimination | coming out
Abigail Saguy is a professor of sociology and chair of the UCLA Department of Sociology who also holds an appointment in the UCLA Department of Gender Studies. Saguy studies how cultural frameworks shape power relations and how subordinate groups are at times able to increase their control by creating new cultural meaning.
Saguy’s research has focused on legal and corporate approaches to sexual harassment in the United States and France; the concept of “coming out” and how it is used by various groups to resist stigma and mobilize for social change; and how the term “gender neutrality” has been used in and out of courts and by the women’s, gay and transgender rights movements. Saguy has also explored how and why fatness has come to be understood as a public health crisis and the consequences of understanding body weight in this way.
Saguy is the author of the books “Come Out, Come Out, Whoever You Are” (Oxford University Press, 2020), “What’s Wrong With Fat?” (Oxford University Press, 2013) and “What Is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne” (University of California Press, 2003), as well as numerous scientific journal articles and op-eds.
Saguy is currently studying — with UCLA professor Juliet A. Williams and with support from the National Science Foundation — how lawyers, activists and journalists invoke the principle of gender neutrality to challenge, or preserve, various aspects of the gender system.
Saguy received a UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2017.