Laura Grindstaff, Ph.D.

Laura Grindstaff, Ph.D.

laura grindstaff

Position Title

  • Sociology
2263 SS&H


  • Ph.D., Sociology, UC Santa Barbara
  • M.A., Sociology, Institution
  • B.A., Sociology, Institution


Laura Grindstaff is a professor of sociology at UC Davis and a faculty affiliate in Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, and Performance Studies. Her research and teaching focus on American media and popular culture and their role in reproducing gender, race, and class inequality. She has authored or co-authored papers in Social ProblemsAnnual Review of SociologyAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social ScienceText & Performance Quarterly, and Cultural Critique, among other journals. Her ethnographic studies of media include the award-winning The Money Shot: Trash, Class, and the Making of TV Talk Shows (University of Chicago Press), and a series of essays on the production of "ordinary celebrity" in contemporary reality programming. Grindstaff has also published widely on the topic of gender, sport, and cheerleading, focusing primarily on competitive coed college cheer. She is co-editor of the Handbook of Cultural Sociology (Routledge).

Research Focus

Cultural studies; popular culture; media, film and television; gender/race/class inequality; gender and performativity; ethnography; qualitative methods.

Selected Publications

Grindstaff, L. (2015) From the networks to new media: Making sense of television audiences, In Manuel Alvarado, Milly Buonanno, Herman Gray and Toby Miller (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Television Studies. Sage Publications.

Grindstaff, L., & Murray, S. (2015) Reality celebrity: Branded affect and the emotion economy, Public Culture 27 (1), special issue on celebrity and publics in the Internet era.

Grindstaff, L. (2014) DI(t)Y reality-style: The cultural work of ordinary celebrity, In Laurie Ouellette (Ed.), A Companion to Reality Television. Wiley-Blackwell.

Grindstaff, L. & Press, A. (2014) Too little but not too late: Sociological contributions to feminist media studies, In Silvio Waisbord (Ed.) Media Sociology: a Reappraisal. Polity Press.

Grindstaff, L., & West, E. (2011) Hegemonic masculinity on the sidelines of sport, Sociology Compass 1-23. DOI: 0.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00409.x (Online ISSN: 1751-9020).

Hall, J., Grindstaff, L., & Lo, M-C (Eds.) (2010) Handbook of Cultural Sociology. Routledge International Handbook Series. London/New York: Routledge.

Grindstaff, L., & West, E. (2010) Hands on hips, smiles on lips! Gender, race, and the performance of 'spirit' in cheerleading, Text & Performance Quarterly 30 (2): 143-162.

Grindstaff, L., & Turow, J. (2006) Video cultures: Television sociology in the “new TV” age, Annual Review of Sociology 32: 103-125.

Grindstaff, L., & West, E. (2006) Cheerleading and the gendered politics of sport, Social Problems54 (4): 500-518.

Grindstaff, L. (2002) The Money Shot: Trash, Class, and the Making of TV Talk Shows. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.