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Sarah Devoto

Professional Title: 

Sarah Devoto (she/her) is a researcher and educator of sociology with expertise in the areas of social inequalities, intersectionality, health and (dis)ability, and social psychology. She has lectured at several college campuses (UC Santa Barbara and CSU Channel Islands) in addition to UC Merced. Previously, she has taught courses on social inequalities, self and identity, social psychology, and research methods.

Dr. Devoto's dissertation research project is titled, Invisible Illness, Invisible Inequalities: Gender, Race, Class, and Fibromyalgia. Utilizing social psychology, Black Feminist Theory, and disability justice, she conducted a sociological analysis of fibromyalgia (a condition of chronic pain and fatigue) to understand how intersectional inequalities are created and recreated within an "invisible" diagnosis. She used 502 surveys and 30 interviews to ask a diverse sample of Americans about their understandings of fibromyalgia and their opportunities for symptom management. Her findings demonstrate how intersectional ideologies structure access to an “invisible” diagnosis and overall well-being at the individual, interactional, and structural levels. The meaning-making process of fibromyalgia raises questions about symptom legitimacy, quality of life, and personal agency.

Dr. Devoto is currently in the process of publishing her dissertation research as peer-reviewed journal articles. In addition to lecturing, she is interested in supporting undergraduate students with academic research and the graduate school application process.


  • Ph.D., Sociology - 2022 - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • M.A., Sociology - 2018 - University of California, Santa Barbara
  • B.A., Psychology and Black Studies - 2014 - University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Interests:

Social Inequalities; Health and (Dis)Ability; Social Psychology; Gender, Race, and Class; Race and Racism