Hilary Levey Friedman

Writer and Sociologist

Hilary Levey Friedman, PhD, is the author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture. She teaches courses on sports and pageantry in the Department of American Studies at Brown University. Prof. Levey Friedman is an active book reviewer (former Book Review Editor at Brain, Child Magazine) and an advisor with the National Council on Youth Sports Safety. She is also a civic leader, serving as Chair of the East Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, as an Affordable Housing Commissioner in the town of East Greenwich, RI, as a member of the Public Policy Committee of the United Way of Rhode Island, as a Board of Trustee at Temple Torat Yisrael, and as an active volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Prof. Levey Friedman grew up in the suburbs of Detroit where she graduated from Marian High School. As an undergraduate at Harvard she discovered sociology, graduating magna cum laude with highest honors in 2002 and writing her honors thesis on child beauty pageants. She then earned an MPhil from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences as a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where her dissertation was about fashion and national identity. Following her time in England Prof. Levey Friedman matriculated at Princeton University, from which she earned a PhD in Sociology in 2009 as both a Spencer Dissertation Fellow and as a Harold W. Dodds fellow. During graduate school her research focused on competitive after-school activities (chess, dance, Kumon enrichment classes, and soccer). Prof. Levey Friedman recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University quantitatively studying youth sports injuries, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Prof. Levey Friedman is currently working on her second book, about beauty pageants and American society. The mother of a preschooler and a toddler she spends whatever spare time she has reading (anything and everything!) and watching a variety of television shows and documentaries.