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Reynolds studies how and why laws come to be developed, deployed, and understood differently over time. She is particularly interested in the relationship between law and society as it unfolds across organizational settings—including administrative bureaucracies, higher education institutions, and the courts—in the United States. Her dissertation project and book manuscript focus on Title IX, the U.S. civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education, and examine why its implementation has shifted from fostering gender equity in athletics to regulating sexual harassment and assault on college campuses. The project has received funding from the National Science Foundation and Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. A related paper won the 2016 ASA Sex and Gender Section Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award.
Provides the first systematic analysis of how Title IX has been mobilized at the postsecondary level. Analyzes all resolved Title IX complaints filed with the Office for Civil Rights against four-year nonprofit colleges and universities from 1994 to 2014. Finds that the mobilization of Title IX has changed both in frequency and in kind during this period.
Draws on and extends the pragmatist mechanism-based approach to social theory to illuminate a key causal pathway whereby individual's sexual identities may change.
Draws from psychological research on meaningful activity to identify the conditions that promote ritual experience among individuals.
uses the Lascivious Costume Ball as a case study to examine how organizations respond to potentially threatening oppositional action marshaled by their constituents.
Provides the first systematic analysis of how Title IX has been mobilized at the postsecondary level.