David Hutson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Psychological & Social Sciences
Office Phone: 215-881-7920
Office Location: Woodland, 236F

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Ph.D., 2012, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
M.A., 2009, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
B.A., 2004, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Research Interests

My research investigates health and fitness culture in the U.S. through the lens of gender, medical sociology, and the body. Specifically, I am interested in studying the meanings of body weight (both contemporary and historical), bodily changes involving diet and exercise, and how broader health and fitness discourses are influenced by the institution of medicine. Much of my research utilizes the framework of "bodily capital"—a multi-faceted concept including appearance, attractiveness, and physical ability that provides a way to understand why people invest time and money into their bodies, and what they expect to receive in return.

Currently, I am conducting an analysis of how contemporary BMI categories evolved during WHO meetings throughout the 1990s, and concluding a project interviewing pregnant and recently pregnant women about the experience of putting on and trying to take off “baby weight.”

Research Areas

Health; Gender; Body/Embodiment; Inequality; Culture; Qualitative Methods.

Courses and Teaching

Soc 001: Introductory Sociology
Soc 451: Health, Disease, & Society
Soc 471: Qualitative Research Methods
Soc 477: Sociology of Sexuality
Soc 497: Sociology of Gender


Hutson, David J. and Kjerstin Gruys. 2018 (forthcoming). “The Aesthetic Labor of Ethnographers.” The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment, edited by N. Boero and K. Mason. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Hutson, David J. 2017. “Plump or Corpulent? Lean or Gaunt? Historical Categories of Bodily Health in Nineteenth-Century Thought.” Social Science History, 41(2): 283-303.

Hutson, David J. 2017. “Teaching Critical Perspectives on Body Weight: The ‘Obesity Epidemic’ and Pro-Ana Movement in Classroom Discussions.” Teaching Sociology, 45(1): 41-53.

Hutson, David J. 2016. “Training Bodies, Building Status: Negotiating Gender and Age Differences in the U.S. Fitness Industry.” Qualitative Sociology, 39(1): 49-70.

Hutson, David J. 2013. “‘Your Body is Your Business Card’: Bodily Capital and Health Authority in the Fitness Industry.” Social Science & Medicine, 90: 63-71.

Hutson, David J. 2011. “Looking Within from Without.” Pp. xxix – xxxvii in Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol. 12: Sociology of Diagnosis, edited by P. McGann and D. Hutson. Wales, UK: Emerald Publishing Group.

Hutson, David J. 2010. “Standing OUT/Fitting IN: Identity, Appearance, and Authenticity in Gay and Lesbian Communities.” Symbolic Interaction, 33(2): 213-233.

Martin, Karin A., David J. Hutson, Emily Kazyak, and Kristin S. Scherrer. 2010. “Advice When Children Come Out: The Cultural ‘Tool Kits’ of Parents.” Journal of Family Issues, 31(7): 960-991.

Hutson, David J. 2008. “Beginnings: Attempting a Lesbian History Project” in Lesbians in the Twentieth Century, 1900 - 1999, edited by E. Newton. Available online at Outhistory.org