This bio was current as of 2014, when she was part of the on-campus Kellogg community.

Jessica K. Taft (PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara), in residence at the Kellogg Institute for the spring 2014 semester, is assistant professor of sociology at Davidson College, where she is also affiliated faculty in gender and sexuality studies and in educational studies. Her research centers on social movements and youth political activism in the Americas, particularly among teenage girls.

While at Kellogg, Taft will work on the book project “Social Movements and the Meaning of Childhood: Intergenerational Collaboration in the Peruvian Working Children’s Movement.” Engaging with questions pertaining to children’s rights, political capacity, and participation in democracy, she is conducting an ethnographic exploration of a social movement in Peru that aims to nurture children’s leadership and create collaborative political relationships between children and adults.

Specifically, Taft is interested in examining how ideas about childhood and institutionalized organizational structures can facilitate or work against cross-age partnership. In addition to its scholarly contributions, she hopes her work will inform efforts to increase the rights and political engagement of children.

The project draws on field research with several Peruvian social movement organizations over the past two years. While in Peru, Taft conducted extensive ethnographic observation, document analysis and interviews with children and adults.

In addition to book chapters and articles in journals such as Youth and SocietyGirlhood Studies, and Politics and Gender, Taft is the author ofRebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas(New York University Press, 2011).

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