Gender, media and consumer behavior
Using the work of Michel Foucault as a theoretical frame, my research project explores the genealogy of contemporary practices of femininity. I have specifically chosen to focus my research on the Millennial woman to consider the meanings she generates with regard to the way gender is currently lived, experienced and represented. My interest is in sketching the forces and influences within which she emerges to achieve epistemological coherence. By analyzing Millennial consumption patterns across sites, I hope to understand how the articulation of contemporary femininity contends with the historically entrenched link between objectification and agency. In examining relationships that are unique to this historical moment, I will try to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the way power, as it works through the production of subjects, is exercised in contradictory ways.
Supervisor: Dr Shani Orgad and Dr Ellen Helsper
At the age of 15, I moved to New York City to attend Columbia University, where I majored in Urban Studies and Political Science. After completing my senior thesis on educational inequity in public schools, I joined Teach for America. I taught Special Education and French at a high school in Harlem, and during this time I also received my Master's degree in Special Education. After having been awarded tenure by the New York Department of Education, I joined the Victor Pineda Foundation, a nonprofit focused on educating and empowering people with disabilities. I worked on 'The World Enabled' series, which is a one-of-a-kind global media project that captures the unheard voices of people with disabilities, and uses their stories as tools to inspire change. I then collaborated with UNICEF to implement inclusive education workshops on an international level. I worked in Europe and South America, but dedicated the majority of my time to conducting research and implementing workshops in the Middle East. Following the conclusion of my research assistantship with a UCLA Fulbright Doctoral Fellow at the Dubai School of Government, I headed the office of Admissions and Administrative Affairs at an international baccalaureate school in the UAE.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my motivational and developmental roles within the classroom and in public policy, I left to pursue a personal passion. I was very fortunate to have travelled extensively, and I learned to express myself through those journeys and discoveries by creating a resortwear line, Marena y Sol, which has been sold in upscale resorts and boutiques across the globe.
In 2014, I completed my Master's degree in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, and in September 2015, I enrolled in the PhD Program to build upon the key theories and frameworks that I have studied in order to conduct further research on the influence of the media on gender and consumer behavior.