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Social Sciences
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Dr. Xóchitl Mota-Back completed her doctoral work at the University of Arizona in 2017, the same year she joined the Social Sciences Division at UH-West O'ahu. Her teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of gender, family, sexuality, reproductive justice, science and technology (STS), and feminist/liberatory epistemology. 

Research from her dissertation will appear in a forthcoming manuscript titled, "Expertly Framed: How Science and Evidence Came to Dominate the Sex Ed Debate," under contract with Lexington Books- Rowan & Littlefield Publishers. 

Ph.D. Sociology
University of Arizona, 2017

M.A. Sociology
University of Arizona, 2010

M.A. Sociology
Lehigh University, 2008

B.A. Sociology/Social Psychology
Lehigh University, 2006

2019-Present: Co-Director of Gender Studies Certificate
University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu


2017-Present: Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu

2016-2017: Visiting Assistant Professor
Willamette University

2011-2016: Graduate Instructor
University of Arizona

2011-2014: Adjunct Instructor
Towson University

University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu (2017- present):

  • SOC 100     Survey of General Sociology
  • SOC 309     Sociology of the Body
  • SOC 313      Sociology of Work
  • SOC 321      Survey of Sociological Theory
  • SOC 330     Reproductive Health and Justice (xlst BIOL 330)
  • SOC 362     Gender, Culture, and Society
  • SOC 369     Sociology of Men and Masculinities
  • SOC 451     Analysis of Marriage and Family
  • POLS 339   Feminist Theory
  • SSCI 300    Philosophy of Social Sciences
  • SSCI 486S  Sociology Senior Seminar
  • SSCI 499     Directed Research

Willamette University (2016-2017):

  • SOC 121 Gender in Society 
  • SOC 131 Science and Knowledge in Society
  • SOC 358 Masculinities 
  • SOC 326 Sexualities

University of Arizona (2011-2016):

  • SOC 150B Sex and Gender 
  • SOC 324 Sociology of Sexuality
  • SOC 325 Men and Masculinities 
  • SOC 459 Sociology of Gender 

Xóchitl Mota-Back. "la curandera." Journal of Latina Critical Feminism [forthcoming]

Niño, Michael D., Tianji Cai, Xóchitl Mota-Back, and Joseph Comeau. 2017. “Gender differences in trajectories of alcohol use from ages 13 to 33 among Latina/os.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 180:113-120.

"Expertly Framed: How Science and Evidence Came to Dominate the Sex Ed Debate". University of Arizona. 2017

  • Gender and Sex
  • Sexuality
  • Reproductive Justice
  • Work and Occupations
  • Scientific Expertise
  • Intersectionality
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Survey Methods
  • Liberatory Epistemology
  • Feminist/Xicana Theory

“Interpretive Reproduction and Forms of Engagement with Racial and Gender Messages” University of Arizona. 2010.


“‘Things are Better Now’: Children’s Perspectives on Race and Class” Lehigh University. 2008.

“PŪKOʻA KANI ʻĀINA: Reflections from Faculty in a Community of Practice Integrating ‘Ike Hawaiʻi in Pedagogy.” Hawai'i Sociological Association. February 2021. Virtual

"HollaBack! Mobilization: Technology, Bodies, and the Creation of a Social Problem." Pacific Sociological Association. March 2019. Oakland, CA.

“Expert Cues: Theorizing Boundary Work Between Scientists and Non-Scientists.” Hawai'i Sociological Association. February 2018. Hilo, HI. 

“Parental Evaluations of Expertise: An Experimental Vignette in Sex Education.” Pacific Sociological Association. April 2017. Portland, OR.

“Expertly Framed: How Evidence Came to Dominate the ‘Sex Ed’ Debate.” New Directions after a Quarter-Century of the Sociology of Science, Knowledge, and Technology. SKAT Mini-Conference. August 2015. Chicago, IL. 

“Conceptualizing Niche Characteristics in Social Movement Families.” American Sociological Association. Annual Meeting. August 2014. San Francisco, CA.

“Historical Use of Expert Cues in Sex Education Materials: A Content Analysis.” Southern Sociological Society. Annual Meeting. April 2014. Charlotte, NC.

“Interviewing and Feminist Methodology.” Invited Talk. March 2014. Towson University. Towson, MD.

“Masculinity and the Media” Invited Talk. April 2013. Towson University. Towson, MD

“Evidence and Expertise: Enactments of Knowledge in the Sex Education Debate.” Crossing Boundaries: Workshopping Sexualities. Sexualities Mini-Conference. August 2012. Denver, CO.

“A Child’s Place in Race and Gender Socialization.” American Sociological Association. Annual meeting. August 2011. Las Vegas,NV.

“Constructed Childhoods: Classed Perspectives on Race.” American Sociological Association. Annual meeting. August 2010. Atlanta, GA.

“‘Things are better now’: Young Children’s Perspectives on Race and Equality.” Pacific Sociological Association. Annual Meeting. April 2009. San Diego, CA.

“Race and Class Inequalities: Young Children’s Perspectives.” (with Heather Beth Johnson). Eastern Sociological Society. Annual Meeting. February 2008. New York City, NY.

American Sociological Association (ASA). 

Pacific Sociological Association (PSA). 

Hawaiian Sociological Association (HSA). 

Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS). 

Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

Hawai'i Sociological Association, President elect, 2023-2024.

Hawai'i Sociological Association, Vice President, 2022-2023.

SSCI Assessment Coordinator, 2022-Present.

UH-System LGBTQ+ Equality Commission, 2021-Present.

UH-System Basic Needs Committee, 2020-2022.

Gender Studies Certificate co-director, 2019- Present.

Sociology Club Faculty Advisor, 2018- Present.

Faculty Senate, 2019-2021 & 2023-present.

Sustainability Committee Vice Chair, 2019- 2021.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Committee, 2018- 2021.

Compliance Committee, 2018- 2020.

Academic Affairs and Planning Committee, 2017-2019.