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Susan Markens
Campus Affiliation: Lehman College
Phone: 718-960-8007
Room Number: B-61 Carman Hall, Lehman College
Research Interests: Medical Sociology/Public Health|Gender and Sexuality

Susan Markens' research focuses on the proliferation of reproductive practices and biomedical and genetic technologies as they shape and are shaped by ideologies of gender, race and class, notions of kinship relations, risk discourse, medicalization processes, and conceptions of health and illness. Her book, Surrogate Motherhood and the Politics of Reproduction (University of California Press), explores how social actors and institutions came to define, and respond to, the “social problem” of surrogate motherhood in the late twentieth century.   She is a co-editor of the 2019 volume of Advances in Medical Sociology titled "Reproduction, Health, and Medicine," and has also published over a dozen articles that focus on the medicalization of pregnancy and women's bodies, and on the geneticization of health.  Currently, she is  working on a NSF grant-funded project that examines genetic counselors and their translational and ethical roles as genetic science moves from the lab to the clinic.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Markens, Susan. 2016. “I’m Not Sure If They Speak to Everyone About This Option”: Analyzing Disparate Access To and Use of Genetic Health Services in the U.S. From The Perspective of Genetic Counselors.  Critical Public Health, DOI: 10.1080/09581596.2016.1179263 
  • Markens, Susan. 2016.  Third-Party Reproductive Practices: Legislative Inertia and the Need for Empirical Data.  Journal of Law and the Biosciences, doi: 10.1093/jlb/lsw040 
  • Markens, Susan. 2013. “Is This Something You Want?”: Genetic Counselors’ Accounts of their Role in Prenatal Decision Making.  Sociological Forum 28 (3): 431-451 (lead article). 
  • Markens, Susan.  2013. “It Just Becomes Much More Complicated”: Genetic Counselors’ Views    About Genetics and Prenatal Testing.  New Genetics & Society 32 (3): 302-321.  
  • Markens, Susan.  2012.  The Global Reproductive Health Market: U.S. Media Framings and Public Discourses About Transnational Surrogacy.  Social Science & Medicine(Special Issue on Gender & Health) 74 (11): 1745-1753. 
  • Markens, Susan.  2010/2011.  Interrogating Narratives about the Global Surrogacy Market.  The Scholar & Feminist Online, Special Issue “Critical Conceptions: Technologies, Justice, and the Global Reproduction Market.”  9(1)-9(2): http://www.barnard.edu/sfonline/reprotech/print_markens.htm 
  • Markens, Susan, C.H. Browner and H. Mabel Preloran. 2010.  Interrogating the Dynamics between Power, Knowledge and Pregnant Bodies in Amniocentesis Decision-Making.  Sociology of Health & Illness 32 (1): 37-56.