Dr. Patti Giuffre
I am the Director of Graduate Programs in the Sociology department. I began teaching at Texas State University in 1998 (at the time, Southwest Texas State University). My teaching and research areas are work and occupations, gender, sexuality, and qualitative methods. I have conducted research on sexual harassment, sexual orientation discrimination, and experiences of LGBT workers in “gay-friendly” workplaces. I am active in the American Sociological Association's Sections on “Sex and Gender” and “Organizations, Occupations, and Work” and in the Sociologists for Women in Society (www.socwomen.org).
My most recent project, with Dr. Deborah Harris, is a study of women chefs. Our book, Taking the Heat: Women Chefs and Gender Inequality in the Professional Kitchen (with Rutgers University Press) was published May 2015. Please “like” our book page on Facebook—Taking the Heat.
The world of elite chefs is almost exclusively male. How is it that being a chef—a job based on the feminized skill of cooking—is considered a masculine occupation? This book combines content analysis of food media with interviews with 33 women chefs in Texas to address how the chef occupation became and remains male-dominated. We found that food writers and critics describe men’s work as chefs as “revolutionary” and “daring” while women earn praise when they stick to traditional foods much like how grandmothers would cook. Within professional kitchens, women chefs have to constantly prove they can fit in with their male colleagues and face discrimination in hiring and promotion. For women chefs managing to navigate these professional obstacles, other challenges, such as how to balance work and family, ultimately push some of the women out of the career. Our book concludes with a discussion of how women chefs can take advantage of feminine strengths to earn greater representation in professional cooking.
One of my favorite quotes:
“Under some conditions people flourish. Under other conditions, although the spirit is willing, people atrophy. How do we create conditions under which people flourish? How do we design cultures and organizations in which people thrive? This should be the task of sociology.”
Quoted from William Du Bois (2001) in Applying Sociology: Making a Better World edited by William Du Bois and R. Dean Wright.