Caitlin Taborda-Whitt

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At the core of Caty's research program are two questions: what is the body and what shapes its value? In pursuit of answers to these questions, her dissertation examines how pharmaceutical markets assign economic value to bodies, and how this (de)valuation shapes peoples’ perceptions of their social worth. This work draws upon scholarship on health and illness, markets, culture, inequalities, morality, and sociology of the body. At a time when new technological advances in genetics, bodily tissues, and stem cells increase the risk of turning the body into a commodity, this research innovates by illuminating how social and cultural beliefs about the body shape – and are shaped by – emerging medical markets.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • M.A.: Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 2014.
  • B.A.: Sociology, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, 2011.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Sociology of Health and Illness
  • The body
  • body markets
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Gender, Race, and Class
Courses Taught
  • SOC 3251w: Sociological Perspectives of Race, Class, and Gender
  • Soc 1001 Introduction to Sociology
  • Cindy L. Cain, Caty Taborda-Whitt, Monica S. Frazer, Sandra Schellinger, Katie M. White, Jason Kaasovic, Brenda Nelson, and Allison Chant. 2017. “A Mixed Methods Study of Emotional Exhaustion: Energizing and Depleting Work Within an Innovative Healthcare Team.” Journal of Interprofessional Care 31(6): 714-724.
  • Caty Taborda-Whitt. 2017. “Words Have Power: Student Voices.” Invited chapter in The Open Mic Night: Campus Programs That Champion College Student Voice and Engagement edited by Toby S. Jenkins, Crystal L. Endsley, Marla L. Jaksch and Anthony Keith Jr. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. * American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Book Award, 2018
  • University of Minnesota Graduate School, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2020 - 2021
  • Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow, 2016 - 2019
  • Ronald E. Anderson Technology and Social Cohesion Fellowship, 2016
  • Life Course Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2014 - 2016
  • Diversity of Views and Experiences (DOVE) Fellow, 2014 - 2015
  • American Sociological Association's Minority Fellowship, 2020 - 2021