Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation has appointed C.J. Pascoe, Colorado College assistant professor of sociology, to its newly created research advisory board.
The board is made up of seven scholars from a variety of disciplines who will advise the foundation based on “sound theory and research,” according to an announcement from the foundation. The nonprofit charitable foundation is dedicated to helping young people develop skills, opportunities and resources, as it addresses issues such as self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development.
“It’s rare that sociologists – we’re cultural critics – get to participate in positive social change and use research to do it,” Pascoe said.
The only sociologist on the research board, Pascoe will take part in a study of the foundation’s “Born Brave Nation” program, which is made up of local, youth-led groups of supporters who want to build a better world at home, in schools and in their communities.
The Born This Way Foundation, begun in 2011 by the pop star and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, is “dedicated to creating a safe community where individuality is celebrated by connecting youth with the skills, resources and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world,” according to the foundation. Its website is www.bornthiswayfoundation.org
Pascoe took part in a summit meeting for the foundation in Boston earlier this year, in which several hundred scholars brainstormed ways to bring about change.
“We want this grounded in academic research,” Pascoe said. “What enables youth to be empowered, to make changes in the world?”
Pascoe studies gender, sexuality, inequality, youth and new media. She is the author of “Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School” (University of California Press).