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Congratulations to Katie Kaufman Rogers, the 2020 SWS Cheryl Allyn Miller Award Winner!

Congratulations to Katie Kaufman Rogers, the 2020 SWS Cheryl Allyn Miller Award Winner!

Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) established The Cheryl Allyn Miller Award for graduate students and recent PhDs. working in the area of women and paid work: employment and self-employment, informal market work, illegal work. The award honors the late Cheryl Allyn Miller, a sociologist and feminist who studied women and paid work.

The 2020 Cheryl Allyn Miller Award Winner is Katie Kaufman Rogers.

Katie Kaufman Rogers is currently a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation, “Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Gender, Race, and Class in U.S. Legal Cannabis Industry,” examines women’s labor experiences as workers, executives, and entrepreneurs in a historically male-dominated cannabis labor industry. Her dissertation is a qualitative study of women in the regulated cannabis industry, a multibillion-dollar market in the United States. This research uses in-depth interviews with women workers, executives, and entrepreneurs, as well as field observations in dispensaries and a qualitative content analysis of marketing materials, advertisements, and news reports, to investigate women’s roles in the industry. The goal is to learn which groups, if any, are benefiting from legalization(s), and examine how the construction of regulated cannabis is gendered, racialized, and classed.

Katie is a graduate affiliate of the UT Austin Urban Ethnography Lab and the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation. She is most recently the recipient of the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, the Rapport Center for Human Rights and Justice Fieldwork Fellowship, and a number of University of Texas awards, including the College of Liberal Arts Continuing Fellowship, Dean’s Prestigious Fellowship Supplement Award, and the Sociology Department Fall Research Fellowship.

Kaufman Rogers’ article, “Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Gender, Labor, and Legitimacy in U.S. Legal Cannabis Industry,” is the 2018 winner of the Bruce D. Johnson Best Graduate Student Paper Award (American Sociological Association on Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco section). The article draws on 20 in-depth interviews with women workers, executives, and entrepreneurs in the U.S. cannabis industry. Kaufman Rogers investigates women’s participation in an otherwise male-dominated and masculinized cannabis occupation and industry. She finds women use three discursive strategies to promote and justify their buying, selling and production of cannabis, which ultimately, serves to re-gender cannabis labor as legitimate for women. However, these discourses, she argues, draw on race and class stereotypes, further entrenching gender stereotypes and simultaneously reconfiguring symbolic boundaries that maintain segregation.

Special thanks to the Cheryl Allyn Miller Award Subcommittee Members: Tre Wentling (Chair), Kumiko Nemoto, and Mary Virnoche.