Barber's book, Styling Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Inequality in the Men's Grooming Industry (Rutgers University Press), looks at how the growing men's grooming industry impacts the occupational expectations and experiences of women beauty providers. This book considers: How are men sold a masculine concept of beauty? What are the social relations and cultural-symbolic order that inform the production of a male consumer of beauty? What role do women beauty service workers play in the creation of the men’s grooming industry and a masculinizing consumer experience? And with all of Barber's work: How are these processes shaped by power and what can they teach about the everyday perpetuation of inequalities? To answer these questions, Barber conducted in-depth interviews, ethnographic observations, and survey research at high-service men’s salons in California. By examining how classed gender inequalities are reproduced when male customers and women service workers collide, she reveals that the men’s grooming industry is not the beacon of emerging gender equality popularly assumed.
Barber's other projects explore: 1) Men's participation in feminist movement events, including the anti-sexual assault protest events Take Back the Night and SlutWalk, as well as the January 21st national Women's March; and 2) How gender intersects with race and class to shape experiences of, options during, and rebuilding or relocating after disaster.
Barber talks to Rutgers University Press about Styling Masculinity: "Men's salons sell men beauty by not calling it beauty..." (here).
- Kristen Barber. Forthcoming. “The Labor of Consumption in Men’s Grooming—Or—What Does it Take to
Make Men Beautiful?” In Handbook of the Sociology of Body and Embodiment, edited by Natalie Boero and Kate Mason. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Kelsy Kretschmer and Kristen Barber. Forthcoming. “The ‘Man Question’ in Feminism.” In Different
Wavelengths II: Studies of the Contemporary U.S. Women’s Movement, edit by Jo Reger. London, U.K.: Routledge.
- Chelsea Johnson* and Kristen Barber. Forthcoming. “The Gender and Sexual Politics of Hair,” In A
Cultural History of Hair in the Modern Age, edited by Geraldine Biddle-Perry. London, U.K.: Bloomsbury Publishing.
- Kristen Barber and Tristan Bridges. 2017. "Marketing Manhood in a 'Post-Feminist' Age." Contexts 16(2): 36-41.
- Kristen Barber. 2016. Styling Masculinity: Gender, Class, and Inequality in the Men's Grooming Industry. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
- Kelsy Kretschmer and Kristen Barber. 2016. "Men at the March: Feminist Movement Boundaries and Men's Participation in Take Back the Night and SlutWalk." Mobilization 21(3): 283-300.
- Kristen Barber. 2016. "'Men Wanted': Heterosexual Aesthetic Labor in the Masculinization of the Hair Salon." Gender & Society 30(4): 618-642.
- Kristen Barber and Timothy J. Haney. 2016. "The Experiential Gap in Disaster Research: Feminist Epistemology and the Contribution of Local Affected Researchers." Sociological Spectrum 36(2): 57-74.
- Shiloh Deitz and Kristen Barber. 2015. "Geographies of Inequalities: Urban Renewal and the Race, Gender, and Class of Post-Katrina New Orleans." Race, Gender & Class 134-159.
- Kristen Barber. 2015. "Styled Masculinity: Men’s Consumption of Salon Hair Care and the Construction of Difference." In Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity and Change, edited by C.J. Pascoe and Tristan Bridges. Cambridge, U.K.: Oxford University Press.
- Ronald E. Hallett and Kristen Barber. 2014. "Ethnographic Research in a Cyber Era." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 43(3): 306-320.
- Kristen Barber and Kelsy Kretschmer. 2013. "Walking Like a Man?" Contexts 12(2): 40-45.
- Kristen Barber. 2008. "The Well-Coiffed Man: Class, Race, and Heterosexual Masculinity in the Hair Salon." Gender & Society 22(4): 55-476.
- Kristen Barber. 2006. "Sex and Power." In Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays and Interviews, edited by Steven Seidman, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks, 59-63. London, U.K.: Routledge.