Hilary Levey Friedman

Dr. Levey Friedman grew up in the suburbs of Detroit where she graduated from Marian High School. As an undergraduate at Harvard she discovered sociology, graduating magna cum laude with highest honors in 2002 and writing her honors thesis on child beauty pageants. She then earned an MPhil from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences as a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where her dissertation was about fashion and national identity. Following her time in England Dr. Levey Friedman matriculated at Princeton University, from which she earned a PhD in Sociology in 2009 as both a Spencer Dissertation Fellow and as a Harold W. Dodds fellow. During graduate school her research focused on competitive after-school activities (chess, dance, Kumon enrichment classes, and soccer), children’s work, and university commencement speakers. Dr. Levey Friedman recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University quantitatively studying youth sports injuries, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her first book, Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture, is out now with University of California Press. Dr. Levey Friedman is currently working on her second book, about beauty pageants and American society. She is an affiliate of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as she pursues writing and television opportunities.


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