I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology, with a doctoral emphasis in Feminist Studies. My broad areas of interest are gender, work, and culture.
Drawing upon qualitative interviews and survey research, my dissertation research examines the professional identities of private and personal chefs, particularly as they work to distinguish themselves from each other, other chefs, and other types of workers. Private and personal chefs are positioned ambiguously between the high-status male-dominated culinary profession and the low-status female-dominated world of domestic workers and home cooks. I consider how the chefs' distinctions may reinforce (or challenge) gender, class, and racial differences and inequalities. This research also explores the process through which people, motivated by a desire to pursue a passion and do meaningful work, make career changes.
The survey component of my research was funded in part by the Institute for Social, Economic, and Behavioral Research's (ISBER) Graduate Research Award for Social Science Surveys (GRASSS).
Her dissertation uses interview and survey data in order to examine how private and personal chefs negotiate tensions about their identity and status. It focuses on the distinctions they make between themselves and a variety of others, distinctions that may reinforce (yet also sometimes challenge) existing gender, class, and racial hierarchies. This research also explores the implications of cultural mandates to "follow your passion" (and career changes motivated by such mandates).
Ali graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociology and doctoral emphasis in Feminist Studies from UCSB. She has started a position as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Murray State University.