Professor of Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Boston University
PhD, New York University, 2009
Sociology 257 | 617.358.0637 | mears at bu dot edu
Working primarily at the intersections of economic and cultural sociology and gender, I study how societies value people and things. I research value and exchange in the context of labor, beauty, free stuff, elites, consumption, and social media, and I have written on theory and qualitative methods. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation, and featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, NPR, the BBC, and Chinese Cosmo.
I received my BA in sociology from the University of Georgia in 2002, and my PhD in sociology at New York University in 2009. I have held visiting positions at the University of Amsterdam and the Central European University in Budapest. In 2021-22, I was a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest. I serve on the editorial boards of American Sociological Review and Qualitative Sociology.
I am a co-founder of the Ethnographic Cafe and BU's Precarity Lab.