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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Travis Beaver

M.A., The University of Texas at Austin

PhD Candidate
Travis Beaver

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Biography

Travis Beaver is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the intersection of gender and sexuality as it relates to the construction of sexual identities. Specifically, he is interested in heterosexual masculinities and public discourse about male femininity. 

For his Master’s thesis, “Roller Derby Revolution: Gender, Sexuality, and Power in an Alternative Sport,” Travis conducted an ethnographic study of three leagues in the women’s roller derby revival. This research examined the ways that alternative sports can serve as a site for challenging stereotypes about women that contribute to gender inequality. One chapter from the thesis, “‘By the Skaters, for the Skaters’: The DIY Ethos of the Roller Derby Revival” was published in Journal of Sport and Social Issues. Another chapter, "Roller Derby Uniforms: The Pleasures and Dilemmas of Sexualized Attire," will be published in a forthcoming issue of International Review for the Sociology of Sport.

Travis’s doctoral dissertation, “Wayward Heterosexuals: The Sexual and Gender Politics of Ambiguous Sexual Identity,” examines how the increasing visibility and acceptance of gays and lesbians has impacted heterosexual identities. For this project he is conducting in-depth interviews with straight-identified men who are read as gay. These interviews explore how these men manage their heterosexual identity in a cultural context in which people who are not gender normative are assumed to be gay. This project challenges the reified, and normative, connection between gender presentation and sexual orientation by highlighting queer crossings within heterosexuality.

In addition to his research, Travis has teaching experience at a liberal arts college and a major research university. He taught an upper-division course called “Sociology of Identities” and a lower-division course called “Social Patterns and Processes” at Southwestern University, a prestigious liberal arts college located in Georgetown, Texas. At the University of Texas, he teaches a course called “Sociology of Identity.” This course covers classical and contemporary sociological theorizing about identities. Travis helps students make connections between the course material and their everyday social worlds by incorporating popular culture – clips from television shows and movies, magazine advertisements, songs and music videos – into every lecture.

Travis received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. He graduated summa cum laude.

 

Interests

Gender, Sexuality, Culture, Identity, Theory, Qualitative Methods

SOC 308M • Sociology Of Identity

46110 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CPE 2.212
show description

Description: 

Instead of viewing identities as natural, “true,” or inherent in individuals, this course will examine the ways that identities are socially produced.  Equally important, we will consider how the social construction of identities results in power and privilege for some groups at the expense of others.  The first half of the course will focus on classical and contemporary sociological theorizing about identities.  In the second half of the course we will cover gender, race, class, and sexuality with a focus on the ways that these identity categories intersect.  This section of the course will also examine the role that social institutions (families, schools, religion, media, workplaces, etc.) play in shaping individual identities.  We will conclude this section by looking at the negotiation of, challenges to, and organizing around identities that occurs in subcultures and social movements.

SOC 308 • Sociology Of Identity

46310 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm CLA 1.104
show description

Description: 

Instead of viewing identities as natural, “true,” or inherent in individuals, this course will examine the ways that identities are socially produced.  Equally important, we will consider how the social construction of identities results in power and privilege for some groups at the expense of others.  The first half of the course will focus on classical and contemporary sociological theorizing about identities.  In the second half of the course we will cover gender, race, class, and sexuality with a focus on the ways that these identity categories intersect.  This section of the course will also examine the role that social institutions (families, schools, religion, media, workplaces, etc.) play in shaping individual identities.  We will conclude this section by looking at the negotiation of, challenges to, and organizing around identities that occurs in subcultures and social movements.

SOC 308 • Sociology Of Identity

46097 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 900am-1000am CLA 1.104
show description

Course Description:

“Oh there ain’t no other way / Baby I was born this way / Baby I was born this way”

– Lady Gaga

With my sincere apologies to any Lady Gaga fans, the material in this course will take issue with the viewpoint on identity expressed in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”  Instead of viewing identities as natural, “true,” or inherent in individuals, we will examine the ways that identities are socially produced.  Equally important, we will consider how the social construction of identities results in power and privilege for some groups at the expense of others. 

The first half of the course will focus on classical and contemporary sociological theorizing about identities.  In the second half of the course we will cover gender, race, class, and sexuality with a focus on the ways that these identity categories intersect.  This section of the course will also examine the role that social institutions (families, schools, religion, media, workplaces, etc.) play in shaping individual identities.  We will conclude this section by looking at the negotiation of, challenges to, and organizing around identities that occurs in subcultures and social movements.

 Required Texts:

Lawler, Steph. 2008. Identity: Sociological Perspectives. Polity Press.

 

Grading Policy:

The following grading scale will be used for this course:

A+ 97-100      B+ 87-89         C+ 77-79         D+ 67-69        F <60

A   93-97         B   83-86         C   73-76         D   63-66

A-  90-92        B-  80-82         C-  70-72         D-  60-62

 

Exam 1: 20%

Exam 2: 20%

Exam 3: 20%

Short paper assignment: 20%

Attendance and participation: 20%

SOC 308 • Sociology Of Identity

45665 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CLA 0.102
show description

Course Description:

“Oh there ain’t no other way / Baby I was born this way / Baby I was born this way”

– Lady Gaga

With my sincere apologies to any Lady Gaga fans, the material in this course will take issue with the viewpoint on identity expressed in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”  Instead of viewing identities as natural, “true,” or inherent in individuals, we will examine the ways that identities are socially produced.  Equally important, we will consider how the social construction of identities results in power and privilege for some groups at the expense of others. 

The first half of the course will focus on classical and contemporary sociological theorizing about identities.  In the second half of the course we will cover gender, race, class, and sexuality with a focus on the ways that these identity categories intersect.  This section of the course will also examine the role that social institutions (families, schools, religion, media, workplaces, etc.) play in shaping individual identities.  We will conclude this section by looking at the negotiation of, challenges to, and organizing around identities that occurs in subcultures and social movements.

 Required Texts:

Lawler, Steph. 2008. Identity: Sociological Perspectives. Polity Press.

 

Grading Policy:

The following grading scale will be used for this course:

A+ 97-100      B+ 87-89         C+ 77-79         D+ 67-69        F <60

A   93-97         B   83-86         C   73-76         D   63-66

A-  90-92        B-  80-82         C-  70-72         D-  60-62

 

Exam 1: 20%

Exam 2: 20%

Exam 3: 20%

Short paper assignment: 20%

Attendance and participation: 20%

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