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headshot of Melissa Hardesty

Melissa Hardesty

Assistant Professor

CCPA Social Work


Melissa Hardesty received her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Chicago, her MSW from Indiana University Northwest and her BS in Psychology from Indiana University, Bloomington. Prior to joining the Binghamton University Department of Social Work, she was an assistant professor with the North Carolina State University Department of Social Work.

Dr. Hardesty's research explores gender and sexuality in the wake of global capitalism. Her primary research project is an ethnographic study of front-line child welfare workers at a concurrent planning foster care and adoption agency, where she focuses both on the nature of the job and on the micropolitics of assessing parents on behalf of the state. Dr. Hardesty's other research projects include a comparative study of political selfies posted by feminists and anti-feminists on Tumblr and a series of studies exploring the impact of market capitalism and globalization on sexual relationships in Vietnam.


  • PhD, University of Chicago
  • MSW, Indiana University Northwest
  • BSW, Soongsil University

Research Interests

  • Gender
  • Child welfare
  • Parenting
  • Kinship
  • Ethnography
  • Epistemology
  • Emotional/affective labor

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae