Texas Tech University

Elizabeth Sharp, Ph.D.

Professor, and Former Director of Women's & Gender Studies
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: elizabeth.sharp@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-8652

Office: HS 508

Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2024

Elizabeth Sharp

Research Focus

Using feminist framings in my research, I focus on the interplay among gendered and familial ideologies.  I am especially interested in the ways in which hegemonic femininities operate in women's lives in a variety of (shifting) positions:  as single women, as (new) wives, as women positioned in various socio-economic groups, as women claiming various racial-ethnic identities, as child-free women, as women in recovery from an eating disorder.  I have recently taken up the consideration of space and affect, examining a feminist-women only space with one of my British colleagues.  Currently, with my research team, I am collecting data examining social-spatial relations, embodiment, and romance among a group of first year women using focus groups, emotion maps, and walking interviews to collect data.

Another salient thread of my research focuses on transdisciplinary research.  My co-researcher (Genevieve Durham-DeCesaro), a choreographer and dancer, and I engaged in a 3-year long project pairing social science data with dance. Durham-DeCesaro conducted a kinesthetic analysis of my qualitative datasets and we created an evening-long dance performance in collaboration with the professional dancers and actors from Flatlands Theatre Dance Company (the dance has been commissioned five times in three different states and more than 400 people have viewed the performance—to view the performance, see links below).  This project raises a host of ontological, methodological, ethical, and disciplinary questions which Durham-DeCesaro and I have addressed in our national and international presentations as well as in our published work.

I have recently held a two-year Honorary Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study and was Visiting Scholar in the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, England. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Gender & Relationships
  • Singles
  • Feminist Family Studies
  • Qualitative Methodologies
  • Transdisciplinary Research

Selected Publications

Edited Volumes 

Zvonkovic, A., Sharp, E.A., & Radina, E. (2012) Editors: Special Issue: Qualitative Methodology, Research, and Theory in Family Studies. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 4, 77-173.

Sharp, E.A., Weaver, S., & Zvonkovic (2016).  Editors: Special Issues: Feminist Framings of Campus Sexual Assault. Family Relations.


Sharp, E A., & Durham-DeCesaro, G., (Under Contract- completed summer2015). Toward Innovative and Transdisciplinary Methodologies.  Common Ground Publishing, Inc.

Refereed Journals

Lewis, R., & Sharp, E. A. (In press). Safe from misogyny and safe to be fully human Dimensions of safety in women-only space. Sociology Online.

Bermudez, M., Sharp, E, A., & Taniguchi, N. (2015). Tapping into the complexity:  An Investigation of Ambivalent Sexism, Dating and Familial Beliefs among Hispanic Young Adults. Journal of Family Issues, 36, 1274-1295.

Sharp, E. A, & Weaver, S. (2015). Feeling like Feminist Frauds: Theorizing Feminist Accountability in Feminist Family Research within a Neoliberal, Post-Feminist Context. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 7, 299-320. ***FEATURE ARTICLE.***

Sharp, E.A., & Durham-DeCesaro.  (In Press). Modeling Innovative Methodological Practices in a Dance/Family Studies Transdisciplinary Project. Journal of Family Theory & Review.

DeCesaro-Durham, G., & Sharp, E. A. (2014) Almost Drowning: Data as a Troubling Anchor in a Dance/Social Science Collaboration. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 13, 411-421.  

Sharp, E.A., Zvonkovic, A., Humble, A, & Radina, M.E. (2014). Cultivating the Family Studies Terrain: A Synthesis of Qualitative Conceptual Articles. Journal of Family Theory and Review, 6, 139-168.

Durham-DeCesaro, G., & Sharp, E.A. (2013).Immersion in the muddy waters of a collaboration between a social scientist and a choreographer. The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, 7, 57-66.

Sharp, E. A., & Durham-DeCesaro, G. (2013).What Does Rejection Have to Do With It?: Toward An Innovative, Kinesthetic Analysis of Qualitative Data. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14(2), Art. 4, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs130245.

Schrick, B.,*.Sharp, E. A., Zvonkovic, A., & Reifman, A. (2012). Never let them see you sweat: Silencing and striving to appear perfect among US college women. Sex Roles, 67, 591-604.

Humble, A., & Sharp, E.A. (2012).Peer support in teaching qualitative methods through shared journaling. Qualitative Report, 17 (48), 1-19.

Sharp, E.A., Elliot, C.*, .& Zvonkovic, A. (2011). Young, single gay men's commitment and long-term partner preferences. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7, 349-369.

Sharp, E. A., & Ganong, L. (2011).“I'm a Loser, I'm Not Married, Let's Just All Look at Me”: Ever Single Women's Perceptions of their Social EnvironmentJournal of Family Issues, 32, 956-980. *** THIS ARTICLE WAS ONE OF THE MOST DOWNLOADED ARTICLES IN JFI DURING 2011.***

Sharp, E. A., & Ispa, J. (2009).Inner-city Black mothers' gender-related childrearing expectations and goals. Sex Roles, 60, 656-668.

Fitzpatrick, J., Sharp, E. A., & Reifman, A. (2009). Midlife singles' willingness to date partners with heterogeneous characteristics. Family Relations, 58, 121-133.

Sharp, E. A., Sorelle-Miner, D.* Bermudez, J. M., Walker, M.* (2008). “The glass ceiling is kind of a bummer”: College women's reflections of a gender development course. Family Relations, 57, 530-542. 

Parra-Cardona, J. R.*, Sharp, E. A., & Wampler, R. (2008).“Changing for my kid”: Fatherhood experiences of Mexican-origin teen fathers involved in the justice system. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 34, 369-387.

Sharp, E. A., & Ganong, L. (2007). Living in the gray: Women's experiences of missing the marital transition. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 831-844.

Sharp, E. A., Bermudez, J. M., & Watson, W.*, & Fitzpatrick, J. (2007). Reflections from the trenches: Our development as feminist teachers. Journal of Family Issues, 28, 529-548.

Parra-Cardona, J. R.*, Wampler, R. S., & Sharp, E. (2006). “Wanting to be a good father”: Experiences of adolescent fathers of Mexican descent in a teen fathers program. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 32, 215-232.

Sharp, E., & Ganong, L. (2000). Raising awareness about marital expectations: Are unrealistic beliefs changed by integrative teaching? Family Relations, 49, 71-76. 


Dr. Sharp's Gender SEAMS Research Lab

Ordinary Wars


London School of Economics Impact of Social Sciences

Durham University, England, Centre for Medical Humanities
"Ordinary Wars: Transition, Weddings, Wives, Choreography and Research"

"Can dance help prevent and decrease psychological and health-related problems among young women."

Meet Associate Professor Elizabeth A. Sharp, Ph.D.