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Kristen Karlberg

Assistant Professor of Practice, Sociology

I came to sociology in a roundabout way. I began with a BS in biology because of my interest in pursuing a medical degree. I decided to learn a little more about medicine before committing, so got a Master of Public Health. During that course of study, I began my critical evaluation of medicine, which led me to a PhD in sociology focused on medical sociology. I have been teaching at Purchase College since 2009. My current research involves the creation of families through assisted reproductive technologies, which builds on my dissertation research on prenatal genetic testing technologies. My interest in technologies is also reflected in another ongoing project looking at the ways online social networking may influence the formation and continuation of relationships and identity.  I am interested in the sociology of genetics, medicine, families, races, sexualities, genders, technologies, and the interplay between all of these topics over the life course.  I’m moving into research on aging and technologies, specifically in relation to Alzheimer’s disease.

Research Interests

  1. Sociological implications of technologies
  2. Complex interactions between medicine, genomics and society
  3. The life course, specifically childhood and old age.
  4. Families and how the above topics influence what “family” means to individuals and society
  5. Sexualities and Genders and Races and Age and Ability and Classes and the sociological implications of inequalities in relation to them.

Representative Courses

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of the Body and Embodiment
  • Surveillance Technologies and Society
  • Sociology of Childhood
  • Sex, Drugs and Gray Hair:  Sociology of Aging

Publications

2011
Karlberg, Kristen.Shaping Babies: No Not THAT Kind! Can I Try Again?Gendered Bodies: Feminist Perspectives, 2nd Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
2010
Karlberg, Kristen.Am I Good Enough for My Family: Fetal Genetic Bodies and Prenatal Genetic Testing.” The Body Reader: Essential Social and Cultural Readings. New York: New York University Press, 2010.
2008
Li, De-Kun, Kristen Karlberg, Soora Wi, and Carol Norem.Factors Influencing Women’s Acceptance of Prenatal Screening Tests.” Prenatal Diagnosis. 28 (2008): 1136-1143.
2006
Karlberg, Kristen.Shaping Babies: No Not THAT Kind! Can I Try Again?Gendered Bodies: Feminist Perspectives from Birth to Death. New York: Roxbury Publishing Company, 2006.
2000
Karlberg, Kristen.The Work of Genetic Care Providers: Managing Uncertainty and Ambiguity.” Research in the Sociology of Health Care. 17 (2000): 81-97.

Presentations / Conferences

Panels Organized

2013               “Nuclear Science, Reproductive Technologies, and the Making of Future Families:  Genetics, Race, Kinship and Nation.”  Panel Co-Chair, American Anthropological Association, Chicago, Illinois, November.

2013               “The Tangled Genetic Web:  (Re)Defining Families, Kinship and Culture through Technologies.”  Panel Chair, Society for the Social Studies of Science, San Diego, California, October.

2012               “Technologically Domesticated:  Identity and the Internet Online and In Real Life,” Panel Chair, Society for the Social Studies of Science, Copenhagen, Denmark, October.

 

Papers Presented

2016               “Chasing Families Through the Tangled Genetic Web:  Curating Relatedness Through Race” American Sociological Association, Seattle, Washington, August.

2016               “Caregiving, Emotional labor, Bodies and Brains:  The Alzheimer’s Dimension” Eastern Sociological Society, Boston, Massachusetts, March.

2013               “Curating Relatedness Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies:  Donor Gametes, Race, Genetics and Resembling Desired Babies.”  American Anthropological Association, Chicago, Illinois, November.

2013               “Chasing Family Through the Tangled Genetic Web:  Donor Gametes and Race/Ethnicities.”  Society for the Social Studies of Science, San Diego, California, October.

2012               “The Tangled Genetic Web in Pursuit of FAMILY:  Cultures, Donors, Races, Ethnicities.”  American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, November. 

2012               “The Technology Made Me Do It? Cyber and In Real Life Infidelities.”  Society for the Social Studies of Science, Copenhagen, Denmark, October.

2010               “Am I Good Enough for my Family?” Purchase College book seminar on The Body Reader, Purchase, New York, October.

2007               “Pregnant Women Shaping Families:  Are You Sure You Want That Kind?” Eastern Sociological Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February.

2006               “’New’ Genetic Information and the Evolution of Genetic Identity:  Personal and Professional Reflections.”  Advocacy & Genetics:  Arenas of Engagement conference, Sarah Lawrence Health Advocacy and Human Genetics Programs, Bronxville, New York, June.

2004               “Tailoring the Molecular Family:  Pregnant Women, Providers and Prenatal Genetic Testing.”  City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, February.

2001               “Genetic Bodies:  The Discursive Transformation of a ‘Normal’ Body into an ‘Abnormal’ Body.”  American Sociological Association, Anaheim, California, August.

2001               “The Scientific Production and Social Construction of Prenatal Genetic Testing Where do we go from here?”  Society for the Social Studies of Science, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November.

1999               “The Work of Genetic Care Providers: Managing Uncertainty and Ambiguity.” American Sociological Association, Chicago, Illinois, August.

1999               “Family: From Nuclear to Molecular.” Pacific Sociological Association, Portland, Oregon, April.

1998               “The Work of Genetic Care Providers: technological innovation, situated knowledges, and ideologies.”  Society for the Social Studies of Science, Halifax, Canada, November.

1996               “The Women’s Health Movement: Thirty Years of Political Advocacy Evaluated.” Pacific Sociological Association, Seattle, Washington, April.

1996               “Pathways to Genetic Screening: Molecular Genetics Meets the High Risk Family.”  Poster session, Department of Energy’s Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August.