C.J. Pascoe, CC assistant professor of sociology, has been appointed to the research advisory board of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. The nonprofit charitable foundation is dedicated to helping young people develop skills, opportunities, and resources, as it addresses issues such as self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring, and career development.
“It’s rare that sociologists — we’re cultural critics — get to participate in positive social change and use research to do it,” Pascoe said. The only sociologist on the seven-member research board, Pascoe will take part in a study of the foundation’s “Born Brave Nation” program, which is made up of local, youth-led groups of supporters who want to build a better world at home, in schools, and in their communities.
Pascoe studies gender, sexuality, inequality, youth, and new media. Her research background focuses on three areas: kids, adolescents, young people and homophobia, and the role masculinity plays in homophobia; the way kids use new media; and online pro-eating disorder communities. She is the author of “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School” and “Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out.”
Pascoe took part in a summit meeting for the foundation in Boston earlier this year, in which several hundred scholars brainstormed ways to bring about change. “We want this grounded in academic research,” Pascoe said.
The Born This Way Foundation, begun in 2011 by the pop star and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, is “dedicated to creating a safe community where individuality is celebrated by connecting youth with the skills, resources, and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world.”