Derek Siegel Headshot.png

Derek P. Siegel

PhD Candidate in Sociology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Chapter Member: Boston SSN

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About Derek

Siegel (they/them) studies how inequalities manifest at different stages of reproduction. Their two research clusters include, 1) how race, class, and gender shape trans women’s experiences of family formation and parenthood, and 2) how people understand their own abortion experiences in relation to the pro-choice and reproductive justice movements. Siegel’s writings aim to address how activists can better support and reflect the needs of marginalized communities, basing their recommendations on extensive interview data and their own experiences as an abortion counselor. They currently serve as a board member and volunteer coordinator for the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts.

In the News

Opinion: "What It Means for Trans Mutual Aid Groups and Abortion Funds To Work Together," Derek P. Siegel (with Josie Pinto), Rewire News Group, September 25, 2023.
Interviewed in "The Impact of COVID-19 on Trans Moms," Channel Q, May 21, 2021.


"Medicalization and Naturalization" Catalyst Journal 6, no. 2 (2020).

Offers a naturecultural intervention to the abortion literature, which characterizes abortion as a standard procedure, from the perspective of both biomedical and social scientific research. Contrasts, by examining interviews with feminists and pro-choice people about their recent abortions (n=27) and my own experiences as an abortion counselor. Finds that no singular “abortion” exists; rather, there are many embodied abortions.

"Wanting a “Feminist Abortion Experience”: Emotion Work, Collective Identity, and Pro-Choice Discourse" Sociological Forum (2021).

Examines what produces this tension by conducting interviews (n = 27) with feminists about their recent abortions and finding multiple explanations in terms of their own interests, respondents fear being (perceived as) “bad feminists” for harboring ambivalence over their abortions, and regarding others, worry that anti-abortion activists will misrepresent their experiences to further attack abortion rights.  Uses the feeling rules framework and the concepts of personal and collective identity to explain how—in this and other social movement contexts—affiliation shapes the way someone manages their private emotions.