University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Amber B Vayo

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student


Thompson 628


Office Hours: 

Fall 2018 Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday noon-1pm, and by appointment


M.S. American University, Washington, DC; M.A., Clark University; B.A. Worcester State College


My interest generally is the intersection of power and inequality and law's role in constructing both.  What tends to motivate my projects is the "who benefits" question.  I like to look at laws, policies, and norms, as social constructs and explore the way people come to understand their relationship with(in) the broader structures of power, in particular the way law and society shape one's relationship and perception of it. 

Current projects:

  • measuring the association between cesarean section rates and hospital ownership
  • exploring emerging social movements through the lens of the birth rights/obstetric violence movement 


Areas of interest:

  • public law
  • law and society
  • social determinants of health
  • political economy
  • political sociology 
  • rhetoric 
  • agenda setting and framing
  • reproductive rights
  • rights claiming
  • teaching and pedagogy
  • constitutional law and comparative constitutional development 
  • pop culture/geek culture (especially science fiction like Doctor Who, Jericho, and Star Trek)
  • law and literature (especially Harry Potter and Shakespeare)