Kjerstin's research engages three substantive areas of inquiry: (1) Labor Market Inequality & Aesthetic Labor, (2) Understanding how News Reporting on Obesity & Eating Disorders Shapes Prejudice and Health Behaviors, and (3) the Intersections of Bodies/Embodiment and Cultural Markets. 


Labor Market Inequality / Aesthetic Labor

2012    Gruys, Kjerstin. "Does This Make Me Look Fat?: Aesthetic Labor and Fat Talk as Emotional Labor in a Women’s Plus Size Clothing Store." Social Problems. 59(4): 481-500. 

  • 2013 Winner, Best Graduate Student Paper, ASA Section on Consumers & Consumption
  • 2013 Honorable Mention, Thompson Award for Best Graduate Student Paper, ASA Section on Organizations, Occupations & Work 
  • 2013 Honorable Mention, Graduate Student Best Paper Award, ASA Section on Labor & Labor Movements/Critical Sociology

Gruys, Kjerstin “Do Charitable "Style Makeovers" Help Unemployed Poor Women?: How Unequal Access to Objectified Cultural Capital Perpetuates the Embodied Disadvantages of Gender, Poverty and Body Size.” R&R, Work & Occupations.

Gruys, Kjerstin "Living Mannequins: How Female Fit Models Accomplish Aesthetic Labor Through Bodily Capital and Embodied Cultural Capital.” Under Review.  

Munsch, Christin and Kjerstin Gruys. "Aesthetic Labor, Absent-Minded Professors, and Gender Inequality in the Academy: Why Absent-Minded Male Professors are "Brilliant" While Absent-Minded Female Professors are "Just Sloppy." In Progress.


How Does News Reporting on Obesity & Eating Disorders Shapes Prejudice & Health Behaviors?

2016   Frederick, David A., Abigail Saguy, Kjerstin Gruys. “Culture, Health and Bigotry: How Cultural Accounts of Fatness Shape Attitudes About Health Risk, Health Policies, and Weight-Based Prejudice." Social Science and Medicine. 165: September, 271-279. 

2014    Saguy, Abigail, David Frederick, Kjerstin Gruys. “Reporting Risk, Producing Prejudice: How News Reporting on Obesity Shapes Attitudes about Health, Risk, Policy and Prejudice." Social Science and Medicine. 111: June, 125-133. 

2010     Saguy, Abigail and Kjerstin Gruys. “Morality and Health: News Media Constructions of Overweight and Eating Disorders.” Social Problems 57(2): 231-250.

  • Reprinted in Peter Conrad and Valerie Leiter, eds., The Sociology of Health and Illness (9th Edition, 2013)
  • Reprinted in Maxine Baca Zinn, Ed., Gender Through The Prism of Difference (forthcoming)

2010     Saguy, Abigail, Kjerstin Gruys and Shanna Gong. “Social Problem Construction and National Context: News Reporting on ‘Overweight’ and ‘Obesity’ in the U.S. and France.” Social Problems 57(4): 586-610. .


Bodies/Embodiment and Cultural Markets

True to Size?: A Social History of Clothing Size Standards in the U.S. Ready-to-Wear Fashion Industry. Manuscript Proposal In Progress.

"Fashioning Clothes, Fashioning Bodies: The History of 'Vanity Sizing' in the U.S. Ready-to-Wear Fashion Market." In Progress.

In progress interview  project on aging and body image, with Theresa Skaar.