C. Saguy

Abigail C. Saguy

Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Areas of Expertise:
  • Media & Public Opinion
  • Mental Health
  • Women

Connect with Abigail

About Abigail

Saguy is an expert on how and why Americans have come to see fatness as a medical problem and public health crisis and how these understandings are worsening weight-based prejudice and stigma. She is also an expert on legal, corporate, and media definitions in the U.S. and France and why they are so dramatically different. Finally, she is an expert on gender inequality and how it is reproduced and challenged.

Briefs

Podcast

Publications

"What is Sexual Harassment?: From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne" University of California Press (2003).

Expands on legal, corporate, and media definitions in the U.S. and France and why they are so dramatically different. 

"Coming Out as Fat: Rethinking Stigma" (with Anna Ward). Social Psychology Quarterly 74, no. 1 (2011): 53-75.

Examines how several different populations are using the term “coming out” to resist stigma and mobilize for social change, as part of a multi-case project. Draws on in-depth interviews and textual analysis of blogs, memoires, and list servers, to analyze how and why fat acceptance activists talk of “coming out” as fat and what it means to “come out” as fat.

What’s Wrong with Fat? (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Provides the how and why Americans have come to see fatness as a medical problem and public health crisis and how these understandings are worsening weight-based prejudice and stigma. 

"Gendered Homophobia and the Contradictions of Workplace Discrimination for Women in the Building Trades" (with Amy M. Denissen). Gender & Society 28, no. 3 (2014): 381-403.

Draws on in-depth interviews with women working in the male-dominated trades. Examines how tradeswomen face specific forms of discrimination and develop diverse strategies for responding to them, depending on their sexual orientation, gender presentation, race, and body size. 

"Reporting Risk, Producing Prejudice: How News Reporting on Obesity Shapes Attitudes about Health Risk, Policy, and Prejudice" (with David Frederick and Kjerstin Gruys). Social Science and Medicine 111 (2014): 125-133.

Shows that reading news articles about the “obesity epidemic” increases reported weight-based prejudice and discrimination, based on an experimental design. 

"Coming Out as Undocumented and Unafraid: Social Movement Spillover and Cultural Innovation" (with Laura Enriquez). American Journal of Cultural Sociology (forthcoming).

Examines how several different populations are using the term “coming out” to resist stigma and mobilize for social change, as part of a multi-case project. Analyses how and why the undocumented youth movement talks of “coming out” as undocumented, by drawing on in-depth interviews. 

In the News

Abigail C. Saguy quoted on gender harassment in the work place in Sasha Segall, "HR Defense" JD Supra, May 4, 2018.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on working women in Natasha Lane, "Femininity & the Workforce: What It Means to be a Woman in the Business World" Via News Agency, April 30, 2018.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted in Melanie Mason, "Sexual Misconduct Accusations against California Assemblywoman Twist Gender Dynamics of #MeToo Movement" Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2018.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted in Susan Chira, "The 'Manly' Jobs Problem" New York Times, February 8, 2018.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted in Susan Chira, "Why Did Hillary Clinton Let This Happen?" New York Times, January 26, 2018.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on changing the conversation around body image in Jessica Mendoza, "Can Hollywood Learn to Tell Stories about Women Above a Size 4?" Christian Science Monitor, September 15, 2017.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on weight loss in Kate Dalley and Abby Ellin, "America’s War on the Overweight" Newsweek, August 26, 2009.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on fat-shaming in Marni Jameson, "Fed Up with Fat and Saying Something about It" Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2010.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on weight loss in Jessica Holden Sherwood, "Don’t be Shamed by the Weight Talk" Ms. Magazine blog, April 9, 2010.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on sex harassment in Peter O’Neil, "Charges Against Strauss-Kahn ‘Unthinkable’ in France, Says Sex Harassment Expert" Ottowa Citizen, May 20, 2011.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on violence against women in Carine Fouteau, "Abigail Saguy, ‘Les Violences Faites au Femmes ne sont Toujours Pas Prises au Sérieux" Mediapart, May 20, 2011.
Guest to discuss justice on France O, Abigail C. Saguy, May 24, 2011.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on sex crimes in the United States in Alexis Buisson, "Un Système Plus Punitif sur les Crimes Sexuels: Entretien avec Abigail Saguy de l’Université de Californie a Los Angeles (UCLA)" Politis, May 26, 2011.
Guest to discuss the newest developments in the DSK scandal on France Inter, Abigail C. Saguy, July 21, 2011.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on American culture in Anne Sengès, "Le Boss n’a qu’à Bien se Tenir! Les Américains et le Harcèlement Sexuel au Travail" Le Figaro Madame, September 12, 2011.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on body-shaming in Misty White Sidell, "Disney Characters are Slimmed Down for Barneys and Harrods Holiday Campaigns" The Daily Beast, November 6, 2012.
"Why We Diet," Abigail C. Saguy, Los Angeles Times, January 4, 2013.
Guest to discuss obesity as a medical problem on New Hampshire Public Radio, Abigail C. Saguy, January 10, 2013.
"How ‘Size Profiling’ Harms Overweight Patients," Abigail C. Saguy, Washington Post, January 25, 2013.
"Give Weight-Loss Diets a Rest," Abigail C. Saguy (with Tamara Horwich), OUPblog, May 6, 2013.
Guest to discuss the obesity epidemic on WICN, Abigail C. Saguy, June 6, 2013.
"If Obesity is a Disease, Why are So Many Obese People Healthy?," Abigail C. Saguy, Time, June 24, 2013.
"People Can be Obese but Healthy," Abigail C. Saguy, U.S. News and World Report, June 27, 2013.
"Memo to Michelle: Fat Shaming is Not OK!," Abigail C. Saguy, Time, December 17, 2013.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on weight loss in Anna Almendraia, "What Experts Really Think of Weight Loss Resolutions" Huffington Post, December 24, 2013.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on weight loss and women’s bodies in Anna Almendraia, "The Surprising Reason We Make New Year’s Resolutions" Huffington Post, December 30, 2013.
"No, Our Kids Aren’t Getting Skinny: Column," Abigail C. Saguy, USA Today, March 14, 2014.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on fat shaming in Chris Malina, "Study: Fat Shaming People into Losing Weight Does Not Work" Wisconsin Public Radio, September 15, 2014.
Abigail C. Saguy quoted on fatness as a medical problem in Harriet Brown, "How Obesity Became a Disease" The Atlantic, March 25, 2015.