About Kathryn

Kathryn McLellan was born a social scientist; her first field research in toy and lunch boxes across lower Manhattan  Finding herself passionately interested in understanding how individuals, groups, and cultures create meaning and identity, she searched for answers, first from academia and then from the marketplace.  From these experiences, she solidly believes in letting people tell their own stories instead of forcing narratives on them; that devoted fans, not companies, own brands; and that vending machines are a great way of understanding cultural expectations of consumer experience in temporal locations.

Kathryn has an honors B.A. in Woman and Gender studies from Macalester College and a M.A. in social science from the University of Chicago.  During her education, she wrote a thesis on how people chose to present themselves online to people they don’t know offline and another on the effects of sex education – from the traditional sources of school and family to friends and media –  on women’s sex lives.  Before working in market research, Kathryn spent four years in academia as a research assistant to Nobel prize-winning economist James Heckman.  She has not taken a single class on economics.

She also writes about neighborhood news and history at the Edgeville and Uptown Buzz.


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