Beth Packer

Beth Packer

Adjunct Professor

Part-Time Faculty


Beth has conducted extensive ethnographic research on the politics of gender and sexuality in India, France and Senegal. Her current research focuses on gender-bending Muslim female soccer players in urban Senegal. She is interested in how these women wield their stigma to challenge heteronormative gender expectations from within an Islamic ethos. 

Drawing on concepts from the sociology of culture (embodiment, subculture and emotions), the sociology of sport as well contemporary theories of gender and power, her findings contribute new knowledge to the study of gender politics and normativity, bringing to light alternative frameworks of meaning-making around deviance.


  • Transnational Feminist Theory
  • Sport and the Body
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Gender and Sexuality in the Muslim World

Research Areas

  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Body Politics
  • Sport
  • Global Feminisms
  • Stigma and Deviance


  • École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), PhD in Sociology, 2019
  • Université de Paris, MA in Sociology and Anthropology, 2007
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, BA in History, 2004 

Prior Experience

  • Lecturer in Sociology, Tufts University 
  • Lecturer in Sociology/Anthropology, University of California in Paris 
  • Visiting Graduate Researcher, UC Berkeley 
  • Program Assistant, University of Massachusetts Amherst in Dakar (Living Routes)

Awards & Distinctions

  • EHESS Field Study Grant
  • American Association for the Sociology of Religion Joseph H. Fichter Grant

Selected Publications

  • Packer, Beth and Juliana Friend. 18 May 2021. “Why few women in Senegal speak out about their rapists.”
  • Packer, B. 2020. “Moral Agency and the Paradox of positionality: Disruptive Bodies and Queer Resistance in Senegalese Women’s Soccer.” Routledge Handbook of Queer African Studies, edited by S.N. Nyeck. New York, New York: Routledge.
  • Packer, Beth. 2019. “Queering the ‘Greater Jihad’: Sufi Resistance and Disruptive Morality in Senegalese Women’s Soccer.” Pp. 53–76 in Gender and Sexuality in Senegalese Societies: Critical Perspectives and Methods, edited by B. M’Baye and
  • B. B. Muhonja. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
  • Packer, B. 2017. “Breaking the Rules: Politics, Piety and Resistance in Senegalese Women’s Soccer.” Women, Violence, and Resistance, edited by Hager Ben Driss and Meryem Sellami. Tunis, Tunisia: Editions Arabesques.
  • Packer, Beth. 2013. “Breaking Down Borders in Development Education.” Pp. 223–38 in Economics, Aid and Education: Implications for Development, edited by S. Majhanovich and M. A. Geo-JaJa. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense
  • Publishers.