Professor of Anthropology & Sociology Mary Tuominen received her B.A. in Education followed by her Master's in Public Administration (public policy) from Seattle University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oregon. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of gender, race, and class; care work; community-based activism; and research methodology.
“My previous work as a community organizer, a public policy analyst, and a Budget Assistant to the Governor for Children and Family Services inform both my teaching and my research interests. My recent participatory action research explores the challenges of multi-racial, grassroots coalitions as tools for mobilizing child care workers – in particular the ways in which social dynamics of race and privilege create opportunities for as well as inhibit successful coalition work (see “Speaking and Organizing Across Difference: Multi-Racial Coalitions and the Grassroots Mobilization of Child Care Workers” in Feminist Formations, 2012). In a forthcoming article I use similar community-based research methods to explore the neo-liberal ideologies underlying financial literacy programs intended to aid low-income citizens (see “No Money Left to Save: Financial Literacy and the Lives of Low-Income People” co-authored and forthcoming in The Journal of Progressive Human Services).”
“My research-in-progress builds on my previous care work scholarship to include narrative care work – an analysis of the ways in which caregivers make meaning of illness, death, and grief. This work includes a Mellon Foundation Award for a project titled, “Writing Grief and Healing: Creative Nonfiction and Narrative Analysis” and an autoethnographic book manuscript currently underway and provisionally titled Strange Gifts: The Work of Death, Grief, and Healing.”