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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Department of Sociology & Criminology


Faculty & Staff

Jennifer A. Reich

Jennifer Reich thumbnail

Jennifer A.   Reich

Associate Professor
Sturm Hall 432
Phone: 303-871-2066
View CV




areas of expertise/research interests

Family; Healthcare; Welfare; Childhood; Law and Public Policy; Gender; Reproduction; Qualitative Methods 

professional biography

Jennifer A. Reich, Associate Professor, came to DU in 2004. Her book, Fixing Families: Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System (2005 Routledge), explores how social workers, attorneys, and parents whose children have been removed from their homes by the child protective services system negotiate power to determine if and when children can return home. Fixing Families was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills award in 2006 and received the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the American Sociological Association section on Race, Gender, and Class in 2007. Her current research examines how parents make decisions about their children's healthcare, particularly in terms of immunizations. This book will be forthcoming in 2014 with NYU Press. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on reproductive decision-making, multi-racial families, qualitative methods, and experiences of state intervention for parents and children.


PhD  Sociology, University of California, Davis, 2002
MA   Sociology, University of California, Davis, 1997
BA    Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1993

selected publications

Fixing Families: Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System. NY: Routledge, 2005.

"Public Mothers and Private Practices: Breastfeeding as Transgression." Pp. 130-142 in C. Bobel and S. Swan (eds.), Embodied Resistance: Breaking the Rules in Public Spaces. Vanderbilt University Press, 2011.

"Children's Challenges to Efforts to Save Them: An Ethnographic Examination of Children's Interactions with Child Protective Social Workers." Symbolic Interaction 33(3, 2010):412-434.

"Parenting and Prevention: Views of HPV Vaccines Among Parents Challenging Childhood Immunizations." Pp. 165-181 in Keith Wailoo, Julie Livingston, Steven Epstein, and Robert Aronowitz (eds.), Three Shots at Prevention: The HPV Vaccine and the Politics of Medicine's Simple Solutions. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.

"Not Ready to Fill His Father's Shoes: A Masculinist Discourse of Abortion." Men and Masculinities 11(1, 2008):3-21.

"The Child Welfare System and State Intervention in Families: From Historical Patterns to Future Questions." Sociology Compass 2(April 2008):888-909.

"Out of the Floodwaters, But Not Entirely on Dry Ground: Experiences of Displacement, Adjustment, and Trauma in Adolescents Following Hurricane Katrina." Children, Youth and Environments 18(1, 2008):354-370 (with Martha Wadsworth).

"Unpacking 'The Pimp Case': Aging Black Masculinity and Grandchild Placement in the Child Welfare System." Journal of Aging Studies 21(4, Dec 2007):292-301.

"Prayer and Social Welfare in the Wake of Katrina: Race, Volunteerism, and the State in Disaster Response." Pp. 135-156 in H. Potter (ed.), Racing the Storm. Lexington Books, 2007 (with Susan Sterett).

"Enemies of the State: Poor White Mothers and the Discourse of Universal Human Rights." Pp. 57-78 in Sharon Meagher and Patrice DiQuinzio (eds.), Women and Children First: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Public Policy. SUNY Press, 2005.

"Cultural competence in interdisciplinary collaborations: A method for respecting diversity in research partnerships." American Journal of Community Psychology 38(1-2, 2006): 51-62 (with Stephanie Reich).

"Pregnant with Possibility: Reflections on Embodiment, Access, and Inclusion in Field Research." Qualitative Sociology 26(3, Fall 2003):351-367.