Hilary Levey Friedman, PhD, is the author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture. She is in the Department of Education at Brown University, where she teaches courses on topics like afterschool activities and sports, and she is a Fellow at the Taubman Center for American Politics and Society. Prof. Levey Friedman is an active book reviewer of non-fiction and fiction as well (former Book Review Editor at Brain, Child Magazine).
Prof. Levey Friedman is currently President of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women (RI NOW). She is also a member of the Public Policy Committee of the United Way of Rhode Island and the Platform and Issues Committee of the Rhode Island Democratic Party. Additionally she volunteers as an active Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She is a civic leader as well, having served as Chair of the East Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, as an Affordable Housing Commissioner in the town of East Greenwich, RI, and as a Board of Trustee at Temple Torat Yisrael.
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 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, femininity, and American society (under contract with Beacon Press).
The mother of a preschooler and a first grader, she spends whatever spare time she has reading (anything and everything!) and watching a variety of (reality) television shows and documentaries.