Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Theo Greene


This paper analyzes the methods of resistance enacted by women-identifying people in Mississippi against the institutions seeking to police how they understand their own sexuality and bodily autonomy. This analysis draws upon a series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted in the summer of 2020 focused on construction of community, intersectional identity, relationship with the body, and what inputs frame how women in Mississippi understand sex. This project puts these interviews in conversation with literature from a variety of subfields, including resistance studies, the Sociology of the South, and the Sociology of sexuality, all of which help bring the argument behind these data to light. Resistance looks different in different eras, and generally scholars like to analyze resistance as collective action, collective voice, collective struggle. These data instead argue that strategic, individualized resistance is just as vital to marginalized bodies, particularly when explosive action is not possible. Studying strategies of resistance that lurk beneath the surface not only expands what we now see as “radical,” but it also lends insight into where lasting change can begin.