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Cindi SturtzSreetharan

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Associate Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Biography: 

Cindi SturtzSreetharan earned a bachelor's in international relations from Willamette University; an master's in Asian studies from the University of Oregon; and a doctorate in Anthropology from University of California at Davis. To date, her interests have centered on a language-in-interaction approach to the construction of masculinity; specifically, most of her work has focused on how Japanese men use language as a resource for creating, maintaining, or refuting a masculine identity. More recently she has turned her attention to the intersection of language, the body, and medicine.

Her current research focus includes the following:

Fat in Four Cultures (PI), 2015-2020

Data collection entailed a detailed, comparative, collaborative ethnographically-focused book project on how and why obesity and its stigma is differently experienced in everyday lives, comparing four countries (Japan, USA, Paraguay, Samoa). All data collection, analysis, and first drafts have been completed.  We expect the full book to be published in 2020.  Fat in Four Cultures is part of a larger set of interconnected projects being conducted by a range of SHESC faculty to understand obesity, stigma, and the young, thin ideal.

Older and Wiser BITs (Body Image Talks): Citizen Scientists in the Valley of the Sun (PI), 2017 - 2020

A citizen science project located in the Phoenix Valley which entails a language-based approach to understand how body image talk -- mainly comprised on fat talk and age talk -- is experienced by mature adults. It aims to gain insights and better understandings of body talk and aging among older adults living in the local area. The authors hope to to engage and empower citizens in self-advocacy techniques with regard to body stigma and other challenges to maintaining healthy bodies across the lifespan.

Marginally Cool in Japan (PI), 2015 – 2020

Comparative project focused on understanding the lived experiences of dialect speaking Japanese women in the Kansai region of Japan. To date, close discourse analysis of naturally occurring and representational conversations among Japanese men show that dialect speakers are perceived as friendly and cool. Data collected from Japanese women speakers in the Kansai region of Japan is being analyzed for various linguistic markers including gender and dialect features specific to the Osaka dialect.

 

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Anthropology, University of California-Davis 2001
  • M.A. Asian Studies, University of Oregon 1994
  • B.A. International Relations, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon 1992
Publications: 

Trainer, S., J. Hardin, C.L. SturtzSreetharan, A. Brewis. Worry-nostalgia: Anxieties around the felt fading of local cuisines and foodways. Gastronomica 20(2). (2020)

SturtzSreetharan, C.L. and J. Shibamoto-Smith. Fathers of Massan: What an NHK asadora tells us about Japanese Fatherhood. Japanese Studieshttps://doi.org/10.1080/10371397.2020.1735322 (2020)

SturtzSreetharan, C.L. Citizen Sociolinguistics:  A data collection approach for hard-to-capture naturally-occurring language data. Field Methods 32(3). (2020)

Swami, V., U. Tran, D. Barron,  . . . C.L. SturtzSreetharan, et al. The breast size satisfaction survey (BSSS): Breast size dissatisfaction and its antecedents and outcomes in women from 40 nations. Body Image 32: 199-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.01.006 (2020)

Ruth, A., C.L. SturtzSreetharan, A. Brewis, A. Wutich. Structural Competency of Pre-Health Students:  Can a Single Course Lead to Meaningful Change? Medical Science Educator, (), 1-7. 10.1007/s40670-019-00909-9 (2020)

Agostini, G., C. L. SturtzSreetharan, A. Wutich, D. Williams, A. Brewis.  Citizen Sociolinguistics: A new method to understand fat talk.  PLoS ONE 14(5): e0217618. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217618 (2019)

SturtzSreetharan, C.L., G. Agostini, A. Wutich, A. A. Brewis, C. Mitchell*, O. Rines*, B. Romanello*. I need to lose some weight”:  Masculinity and body image as negotiated through fat talk. Psychology of Men and Masculinitites.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/men0000219 (2019)

SturtzSreetharan, CL. With G. Agostini, A.A. Brewis, A. Wutich.  Fat talk:  A citizen sociolinguistic approach.  Journal of Sociolinguistics 23(3):263-283.  DOI:10.1111/josl.12342.  (2019)

SturtzSreetharan, CL and A.A. Brewis.  Rice, men, and other everyday anxieties:  Navigating obesogenic urban food environments in Osaka, Japan. In Vojnovic, I., A. Pearson, A. Gershim, G. Deverteuil, and A. Allen (eds), Handbook of Global Urban Health, pp. 545-564. Routledge. (2019)

SturtzSreetharan, CL.  With S Trainer, A. Wutich, and AA Brewis.  Moral Biocitizenship:  Discursively managing food and the body after Bariatric Surgery.  Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 28(2): 221-240.  (2018)

SturtzSreetharan, CL. With SY Han and AA Brewis.  Employment and weight status:  The extreme case of body concern in South Korea.  Economics and Human Biology 29:115-121. (2018)

SturtzSreetharan, CL. With AA Brewis, A Wutich.  Obesity Stigma as a Global Health Challenge. Globalization and Health 14:20. (2018) 

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi. Language and masculinity:  The role of Osaka dialect in contemporary ideals of fatherhood.  Gender and Language 11(4): 552-574. (2017)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi.  Academy of Devotion:  Performing status, hierarchy, and masculinity on reality TV, Gender and Language 11(2):  176 - 203. (2017)

SturtzSreetharan, CL.  With AA Brewis, SY Han.  Weight, gender, and depression in South Korea.  American Journal of Human Biology.  DOI:10.1002/ajhb.22972. (2017) 

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi. Resignifying the Japanese father: Mediatization, commodification, and dialect.  Language and Communication. DOI: 10.1016/j.langcom.2016.09.003. (2017)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi. Na(a)n ya nen! Making Masculinity and Making Curry in Kansai. Journal of Japanese Language and Literature 49(2):  429-452. (2015)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi.  With Janet S. Shibamoto Smith and Debra J Occhi.  Finding Mr. Right:  New looks at gendered modernity in Japanese Televised Romances. Published as part of the Special Issue:  Language in Public Spaces in Japan Journal of Japanese Studies 30(3):  409-17 (2010)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi. "Ore" and "Omae": Japanese men's use of first- and second-person pronounsPragmatics 19(2):  253-278. (2009)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi.  Osaka Aunties:  Negotiating Honorific Language, Gender, and Regionality. In Brown, Amy & Josh Iorio (eds.) Proceedings of SALSA XVI:  2008 Texas Linguistic Forum 52:  163 – 173. (2008)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi.  I read the Nikkei, too:  Crafting positions of authority and masculinity in Japanese Conversations, the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 16(2):  173 – 193. (2006)

 SturtzSreetharan, Cindi.  Gentlemanly Gender?  Japanese Men’s Politeness in Casual Conversations, Journal of Sociolinguistics:  10(1):  70-92. (2006)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi.  Japanese Men’s Linguistic Stereotypes and Realities:  Conversations from the Kansai and Kanto regions. In Okamoto, Shigeko and (Shibamoto)Smith, Janet. (eds.) Japanese Language, Gender, and Ideology: Cultural Models and Real People, Oxford University Press:  275 – 289. (2004)

SturtzSreetharan, Cindi. Students, Sarariiman (pl.), and Seniors:  Japanese men’s use of “manly” speech register. Language in Society 33:  81-107. (2004)

Sturtz(Sreetharan), Cindi. “Uwaki tte iu no wa attemo ii n janai ka?”:  Japanese men’s conversations up-close an personal.  (“It’s alright to have a mistress/affair, isn’t it?”), Japanese Studies 22(1):  49-63. (2002)

Research Activity: 

Abe Fellow:  2020-2022

Project: Obesity anxieties:  Comparing the lived experience of weight-related policy for Japanese and US men

Obesity rates are on the rise globally.  Sentiment around obesity is shifting from positive associations of health and wealth to negative associations of laziness and a lack of self-control. Policies meant to address obesity are designed and developed by public health experts who may not recognize the effect the policies have on the emotional well-being of individual laypeople including depression and social exclusion.  At the same time, social messages address issues of health and size.  While public health policies address overweight and obesity, social messaging around health tends to focus on a thin ideal. The ways in which Japan and the US approach public health policies around obesity present a valuable opportunity to ask:  How do explicit health policies, in comparison to implicit policies contribute to fat shaming and fat stigma?  Using qualitative ethnographic methods, this research will characterize the lived experience of fat in Japan versus the US with specific focus on Japanese and US men.  Does the Japanese annual health (metabo) exam contribute to worsening fat stigma because it is mandatory (explicit health policy) or do social messages from health agencies and peers (implicit health policy) have a similar effect?

            Despite long-standing efforts at reducing the rates of obesity in Japan and the US, both countries continue to see increases, especially among men (30.7% in Japan and 73.7% in the US).  Experts may perceive a lack of exercise and poor diet to be the main cause of these increasing rates, while laypeople may explain their increasing waistline through narratives of a lack of discipline or stress.  Increasingly, scholars are investigating the role of emotional health and the role it plays in weight, finding that shame and stigma around weight can have the opposite effects on people trying to reduce or maintain their weight.  That is, fat shame and stigma can lead to weight gains, rather than reductions.

            This research moves beyond thinking about diet and exercise and instead focuses on the ways that explicit and implicit health policies may contribute to weight gain by encouraging and enforcing strict body vigilance which can be internalized as anti-fat sentiment or fat stigma which can also put people at risk for social exclusion.  Japanese and US men are understudied in qualitative research on topics of weight and stigma.

            Ethnographic methods and qualitative analyses have been widely used in research to study lived experiences of highly personal and often sensitive topics.  Participant observation combined with semi-structured interviews can elucidate how people characterize and organize their experiences of fat, health policy, and stigma. The semi-structured interview will probe along five domains including (1) food and eating; (2) body ideals, body capital, and bodies in society; (3) disease and health of large bodies; (4) health policy; and (5) body concerns and stigma.  Narrative and thematic analyses will identify the experiences and sentiment which are particular and shared within and across sites.  We will gain fundamental understandings into the ways that explicit and implicit health policies impact men’s lives in Japan and the US.

Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 484Internship
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 591Seminar
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 452Commnty Partnrshps Global Hlth
ASB 484Internship
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 380Language, Culture & Gender
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Professional Associations: 

American Anthropological Association (AAA) International Gender and Language Association (IGALA) International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

Service: 

Kobe College Corporation Japan Education Exchange, Graduate Fellowship Program Chair (2012 - Present)

Community Publications

On the Quad College:  How to Arrive, Survive, and Thrive in College with Heidi van Beek.  Available on Amazon Kindle.  Published in 2014, On the Quad: How To Arrive, Survive and Thrive at College is a no-nonsense approach to making good decisions and achieving real success in your college career. With just a little help, you can make your college experience fun, exciting and successful. You’ll gain the confidence to ask the right questions and get the right answers from day-one of your college search, right through the first semesters of your new college life.

Check out our blog at:  www.onthequadcollege.com

Media:

‘Mandemic’: Inventing new words to capture the moment

Interview with AZ NPR Affiliate, KJZZ ‘The Show’, aired on April 14, 2020

ASU research on talking about our bodies

Interview, Arizona PBS, Arizona Horizon, aired on April 25, 2019

Chewing the fat:  Understanding how we talk about our bodies

Interview, ASU Now, April 22, 2019

Language Study Explores What Society Values - And Doesn't - In Each Gender

Interview with AZ NPR Affiliate, KJZZ, aired on August 21, 2018.

How Pivotal Moments Change Our Language, Culture

Interview with Dr. Neal Lester for AZ NPR Affiliate, KJZZ, aired on February 8, 2018.

Generational Shift, Reflections Of Technologies Change How We Use Words

Interview with AZ NPR Affiliate, KJZZ, aired on September 25, 2017.