Betsie Garner is an Instructor of Sociology at Tennessee Tech University. Her research and teaching interests include topics related to family, culture, and place. She received a PhD in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, an MA in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, and a BA in Sociology from Emory University in 2011.
Garner’s dissertation project is an ethnographic community study of Rockdale County, GA in which she explores the discourse and practice of Southern hospitality among contemporary residents of the changing Southern United States. Her analysis traces connections between Southern regional culture and Christian religious culture to explain how community members negotiate the politics of belonging in Rockdale. A related paper on the blurring of rural-urban boundaries was published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and another on Northern and Southern biases in urban ethnography and regional sociology was published in Sociology Compass.
Garner’s earlier research focused on gender and parenting, and her comparison of mothering and fathering in the context of family visits to Philadelphia museums was published in Qualitative Sociology. Her collaborative work with David Grazian illustrating the gender socialization of girls and boys during family visits to urban zoos appeared in Social Psychology Quarterly and won the 2017 Award for Distinguished Scholarship from the Animals and Society section of the American Sociological Association.
Garner is the recipient of several competitive awards including a Dissertation Research Fellowship and multiple Otto and Gertrude Pollak Summer Research Fellowships from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Charles Elias Shepard Scholarship for Graduate Study from Emory University. The University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences named her a 2016 Dean’s Scholar.
Garner has experience as a teaching assistant and recitation instructor for undergraduate courses on a variety of topics at Penn. At Tech she teaches Introduction to Sociology in both large classroom sections and small online sections, as well as a special topics course on the Sociology of Media and Popular Culture. She serves a diverse student population and uses inclusive teaching practices to mitigate inequalities arising from variation in college preparedness. Beyond the classroom, she enjoys engaging with the public at campus events, such as a recent panel organized by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum that addressed questions of complicity in Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South.