University of Massachusetts Amherst

Department of Sociology



Laura Heston

Laura Heston


Laura Heston is a fourth-year graduate student in residence. Her interests include representations of gender and race, commercial marriage migration, international adoption, sex work, feminist theory, queer theory, content analysis, and mixed methods. Her current research uses quantitative content analysis to study representations of gender and race on "mail-order bride" websites. A fiction writer on the side, Laura has published one poem and one short story. Laura is currently a Graduate Employee Organization union steward and graduate representative on the Intellectual Life Committee. She has also served as Sociology Graduate Student Association co-chair (2007-2008), and as a graduate student representative on the Undergraduate Policy Committee (2006-2007). Laura is a member of the American Sociological Association and Sociologists for Women in Society.


2005 B.A.
University of Florida


Comprehensive Exams

"Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice: A Content Analysis of Gender and Race Representations on "Mail-Order Bride" Web Sites." To be defended November 18, 2008.

Research Projects

A comparative study of gender and race representations on international adoption and “mail-order bride” Web sites with Dr. Jennifer Lundquist


Stephens, Niall, Laura Heston, Shara Dunn, Cirilia Rose, and Erica Scharrer. “Green on Paper: A Content Analysis of Environmental Appeals in Magazine Advertisements.” Under review at Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture.


Teaching Associate experience

SOCIOL 103 – Social Problems, Fall 2008

Teaching Assistant experience

SOCIOL 242 – Drugs and Society, Fall 2005
SOCIOL 342 – Deviance and Social Order, Spring 2006
SOCIOL 222 – Sociology of the Family, Fall 2006
SOCIOL 106 – Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity, Spring 2007
SOCIOL 401 – Sociological Theory, Fall 2007
SOCIOL 224 – Social Class Inequality, Spring 2008

Continuing Education experience

SOCIOL 107 – Contemporary American Society, Summer 2008


Department of Sociology • Thompson Hall • University of Massachusetts–Amherst, MA 01003