Joslyn Brenton

Associate Professor, Sociology
School: School of Humanities and Sciences
Office: Muller Faculty Center, Ithaca, NY 14850
Specialty: Health & Illness; Intersectionality; Family; Qualitative Methods

About Me: I grew up in a rural town in Maine. I had never heard of sociology until I took a course my first year of college. I soon switched my major! After I finished college I spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, West Africa. While there I became fascinated with culture, health, and medicine. Today I study and teach about health and illness (among other things). I see the classroom as a transformative space for students and for myself. In my courses I focus on how multiple inequalities (e.g., race, class, and gender) shape the way people think about and experience health and illness. I love when students ask questions, as I think this is an essential component of learning. In my courses we examine questions like: Is health a basic human right? Who has the power to define what health and illness mean? Is Western medicine the best medicine? I look forward to seeing you in my classroom!


  • Ph.D. (2014) North Carolina State University
  • M.S. (2008) North Carolina State University
  • B.A. (2001) University of Maine


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Health & Illness
  • Health & the Family
  • Global Perspectives on Health 
  • Feminism, Food, and Health
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Brains, Besties, and Bodies: Being a Woman in College (Ithaca First-Year Seminar)

Research Areas

  • Health & Illness
  • Intersectionality
  • Family
  • Qualitative Methods



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