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Nancy Whittier

Sophia Smith Professor and Professor of Sociology

Nancy Whittier


10 Prospect Street #203


Nancy Whittier’s areas of specialization are gender, social movements and women's movements, social change, sexual violence and sexuality. She teaches courses on gender, sexuality, social change, introductory sociology and statistics.

Her research examines the contributions of social movements to changes in public policy and culture; cultural dimensions of social movements, such as collective identity and emotion; and transformations in feminism over the past 40 years. She has focused especially on social movements and social change related to gender and sexual violence.

Whittier is the author of Frenemies: Feminists, Conservatives, and Sexual Violence (Oxford University Press, 2019) and The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotion, Social Movements, and the State (Oxford University Press, 2009), which received the 2010 Charles Tilly Award for Best Book in Collective Behavior and Social Movements; and Feminist Generations: The Persistence of the Radical Women's Movement (Temple University Press, 1995), which examines generational differences among feminists and the development of the U.S. radical and lesbian feminist movements from the 1960s to the 1990s. She is co-editor of Feminist Frontiers, an anthology in the sociology of gender, and Social Movements: Identity, Culture, and the State, which focuses on new directions in social movement theory. Her articles examine topics including feminist and conservative anti-pornography activism, coalitions, child sexual abuse, the Violence Against Women Act, collective identity and identity politics, emotions and protest, political generations in social movements and the impact of social movements on each other. 

Podcasts and Blog Posts

Gender & Society podcast: "Where Are the Children? Theorizing the Missing Piece in Gendered Sexual Violence"

"Putting Child Sexual Abuse Back on the Feminist Agenda"


Frenemies: Feminists, Conservatives, and Sexual Violence

The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse: Emotion, Social Movements, and the State

Feminist Generations

Social Movements: Identity, Culture, and the State

Feminist Frontiers

Selected Articles

Gender & Society. November 2016.

Oxford Handbook of U.S. Women's Social Movement Activism, ed. Holly McCammon, Verta Taylor, and Jo Reger. Oxford University Press. 2016.

Gender & Society 30(1): 95-109. 2016.

In The Consequences of Social Movements: People, Policies, and Institutions, ed. Lorenzo Bosi, Marco Giugni, and Katrin Uba. Cambridge University Press. 2016.

Social Problems 61(2): 175-193.

In Strategies for Social Change, edited by Jeff Goodwin, Rachel Kutz-Flamenbaum, Greg Maney, and Deana Rohlinger.  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 145-169.


Office Hours

Spring 2023
Tuesday 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.,
Thursday 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Via Zoom


Ph.D., B.A., Ohio State University

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks