UCLA graduate student Natascha Chtena recently reviewed “5 Great Reads About Graduate Life and Work” for Inside Higher Ed — including Exposure: A Sociologist Explore Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment.

Natascha’s comments re Exposure are reprinted below, but check out her entire list here for some really interesting reads!


This one’s an odd one, perhaps. Yes, it is partly about the adult industry, but it is also about the challenges and perils of pursuing a controversial (and to some perhaps offensive) research topic. As a PhD student in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, Chauntelle Tibbals set out to study porn, or, as she fancily puts it, “the sociocultural significance of adult entertainment as it relates to law, media, and gender,” and was shunned by her advisor, her department and her colleagues as a result.

Rendered invisible and marginalized as a scholar, Tibbals worked multiple jobs to fund her degree, while pursuing a full-time course load and dissertation research without any guidance (though she did eventually switch advisors), to emerge ultimately as an adult industry expert. Unlike the title suggests, Exposure does not just expose (pun intended) our society’s hypocrisy in regards to porn but also that of academia in regards to groundbreaking research. It is also a lesson in writing about one’s research free of scientific jargon (take a look at those footnotes, seriously), which is invaluable whether you’re interested in porn or not.

Inside Higher Ed

(picture: book love via Insider Higher Ed)

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Got a sociology question? Need some social justice informed life advice? Contact Dr. Chauntelle right here.

Get Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment on Amazon and CT.com