June 17, 2008

the feminist photographer

Family Personal

In my life before portrait and wedding photography, I was in graduate school for sociology.

In undergrad, I didn’t know what opportunities there were for sociology majors. I just loved the subject matter and had some incredible professors that I never put much thought into what would happen after graduation. I learned that the main route for sociology majors who are really into sociology is graduate school so you can make more sociologists. This was prefect as I loved being in the classroom and I was pretty good at being a student (graduated magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa).

My shtick was family and gender roles and social psychology. So off to graduate school I went and ended up at NC State University studying under Barbara Risman, a nationally recognized feminist author and researcher. I had planned to focus on the gendered division of household labor, something I studied a bit in undergrad. I eventually left NCSU, partially due to my father’s failing health and partially because the department was changing around and Dr. Risman had accepted a position in Chicago.

During that heavy time, I would seek solace in photography and eventually realized that photography had been a constant in my life for years. I never thought twice about it after I became fixated on the academia track.

But I still keep a look out for gender study issues and social psychology topics.

This brings me to an article I want to share with you that came out earlier this week in the New York Times about the gendered division of household labor, i.e. the imbalance of housework and childcare between spouses. I actually learned of it during my daily blog-stalking; this time on Weddingbee.

So why do I bring this up? I figure my readers are 1) good friends or family who will read regardless (Hi Mom!) 2) future brides who, like the Weddingbee gals, find this relevant in their current life stage and/or 3) forward thinking women who also happen to like pretty pictures.

If this interests you, you may also want to check out Sociological Images, a blog that points to visual media and deconstructs it sociologically. Some of the examples are a stretch, but interesting nonetheless.

And for more info on shared parenting or parenting equality or whatever you call it, here are some sites that I found: Equally Shared Parenting and The ThirdPath Institute. Definitely food for thought.

I like hugs and I like kisses,
But what I really love is help with the dishes!
~Author Unknown

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