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Chrys Ingraham

Professor of Sociology

Dr. Chrys Ingraham joined the Purchase faculty in 2007 as professor and coordinator of Sociology. Charged with rebuilding the Sociology program, Prof. Ingraham facilitated the development of a social action based major that exposes students to the breadth and depth of the discipline of Sociology.  Today the program is now among the largest and most vital on campus and features 6 highly productive and exciting faculty.  In addition to curriculum development, Dr. Ingraham is an active scholar in areas of social inequality–gender, race, class, accessibility–social organizations, conflict, and social change.  Her most notable accomplishments are in the areas of critical heterosexual studies–weddings–and materialist feminism.  Her key contribution is in feminist theory with concepts such as the heterosexual imaginary and heterogender and her ground-breaking study, White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture. Her most recent research focuses on the recent emergence of consciousness communities as a new effort toward social change. 

Research Interests

Critical Heterosexual Studies

Accessibility and Inclusion

Paranormal Studies

Consciousness Communities

Representative Courses

  • Sociological Theory
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Social Movements, Action and Advocacy
  • Conflict Management and Mediation
  • Social Organizations
  • Astrosociology and Consciousness Communities
  • Critical Disability Studies


White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture (Routledge 1999, 2008)

Thinking Straight: The Power, the Promise, and the Paradox of Heterosexuality (Routledge 2005)

Materialist Feminism: A Reader in Class, Difference, and Women’s Lives (co-edited with Rosemary Hennessy) (Routledge 1997)

“The Heterosexual Imaginary: Feminist Sociology and Theories of Gender,” (Sociological Theory, July 1994, 203-19

“One is Not Born a Bride: How Weddings Regulate Sexuality,” in The New Sexuality Studies: A Reader, edited by Steven Seidman, Chet Meeks, and Nancy Fisher. (London: Routledge 2011)

“Straightening Up: The Marriage of conformity and Resistance in Wedding Art,” in Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony by Paula Richter, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA 2008

Presentations / Conferences

“Minding the Gap: Exploring the Textually Mediated Experience of Institutional Accessibility–An Institutional Ethnography Workshop,” Society for the Study of Social Problems, San Francisco, August 2014

“Minding the Gap: Exploring the Textually Mediated Experience of Institutional Accessibility,” Eastern Sociological Society, Baltimore, February 2014

“Lessons from a Major,” (with E.V. Brownell), Managing by Values–Beyond Cultures and Generations Conference, Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, Alberta, CA, May 2010