Jennifer Reich
Sociology Department

Contact via email: or request an appointment at

Teaching/Expertise Area:  Welfare & Policy, Healthcare Issues, Childhood & Adolescence

Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco (funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), 2002-2004
Certificate of Training in Clinical Research, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, 2003
Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Davis (Designated Emphasis: Feminist Theory and Methods from the Department of Women and Gender Studies), 2002
M.A., Sociology, University of California, Davis,1997
B.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara (highest honors), 1993

Dr. Reich currently has several lines of research that explore these issues. Over the last decade she has examined how parents come to reject vaccines for their children, in dialog with physicians, complementary healthcare providers, activists, and researchers. This work has been published newly published book, Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines (NYU Press). She is Co-PI on a research study that explores how low income adults with Medicaid make decisions about their medical care and perceive the value of healthcare. This mixed methods study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will explicate why individuals seek primary care in the emergency department rather than in primary care settings and what personal and structural factors shape their strategies for their own care. Dr. Reich is also part of a multi-center research team conducting a mixed method study to understand the experiences and challenges facing heart transplant recipients. This study aims to understand how heart transplant recipients experience challenges with post-operative care, including medication adherence and treatment requirements, as well as larger challenges, including costs, limitations in employment, and caregiving relationships. The following are some of Dr. Reich's recent publications:

"We are fierce, independent thinkers and intelligent": Social capital and stigma management among mothers who refuse vaccines

"Managing Risky Bodies: From Pregnancy to Vaccination"

"Of natural bodies and antibodies: Parents' vaccine refusal and the dichotomies of natural and artificial"

"Neoliberal Parenting, Future Sexual Citizens, and Vaccines Against Sexual Risk"​​

"Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines" 

Selected Publications

In press Reich, Jennifer. Calling the Shots: Parents, Public Health, and the Politics of Vaccine Choice. New York University Press (May 2016)

2015 "Old methods and new technologies: Social media and shifts in power in qualitative research." Ethnography vol. 16, no 4: 394–415 (online October 2014)

2014. Joffe, Carole and Jennifer Reich (editors) Reproduction and Society: Interdisciplinary Readings NY: Routledge

2014 "Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal: Imagined Gated Communities and the Privilege of Choice" Gender & Society vol. 28 no. 5, October 679–704

2010 "Children’s Challenges to Efforts to Save Them: An Ethnographic Examination of Children’s Interactions with Child Protective Social Workers." Symbolic Interaction vol.33, no. 3:412-434.

2008 "Not Ready to Fill His Father’s Shoes: A Masculinist Discourse of Abortion" Men and Masculinities. vol.11, no 1: 3-21.

2005 Fixing Families: Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System NY: Routledge.