Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Dr. Kazyak’s research focuses on how social and legal contexts shape the identities and family relationships of sexual minorities. She investigates the relationships between culture, identity, and family relationships. Projects in this area include an analysis of the sexual identities of rural gays and lesbians. Motivated by research that points to the increasing geographical diversity of gays and lesbians – in contrast to cultural narratives that link gay and lesbian sexualities to urban spaces – this project demonstrates how rural contexts shape the way that people construct gay and lesbian identities. Other analyses of the project examine how gender and class matter for the way people make sense of geography and for the experiences of sexual minorities in rural areas.
Dr. Kazyak’s research also investigates law as a central site where ideas about sexuality are constructed and contested. Projects in this area include an analysis of how heterosexual allies who support same-sex marriage reconcile conflicting understandings about how gay marriage should become legal.