Photo of Professor Taylor Cruz, Ph.D

Contact Information

Voice: 657-278-2359

Fax: 657-278-2001

Dept: 657-278-3531


Taylor Cruz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology 


Taylor M. Cruz, PhD is a sociologist of science, technology, and medicine. She studies the societal and ethical dimensions of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), including as these appear within health and biomedicine. Her research draws on qualitative and ethnographic methods to follow data-intensive technologies across contexts: current projects examine the integration of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and expanded data infrastructures within clinical settings, data standardization on social domains to redress health inequities, and community resistance to automation in the Los Angeles Harbor Area. Her work is featured in Social Science & Medicine, Big Data & Society, and Information, Communication & Society; from a previous research life, she has also published on HIV/AIDS, stigma, and access to care. She received her PhD in Sociology from University of California, San Francisco, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and recipient of the Diana Forsythe Award for Social Studies of Science, Technology, and Health.

Professor Cruz founded the Health, Tech & Society Lab @CSUF in Spring 2019, where she offers outstanding students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with empirical social science research. Her research group is currently conducting qualitative interviews with Southern California community members to study institutional distrust associated with COVID-19. Research from the Health, Tech & Society Lab has been presented at regional, national, and international conferences with student co-authors, and has received generous support from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, CSUF Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, and CSUF Department of Sociology. Professor Cruz also regularly teaches courses on social theory and sociology of health and illness, where she enjoys sharing the power of the sociological imagination with new generations of students. She plans to offer new courses in science and technology (STS) and sociological writing in the near future.


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2018, Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, San Francisco

2012, B.S. (Honors), Business, Minor in Sociology, Arizona State University

Research Areas

Medical sociology; Science and technology studies (STS); Health politics and policy; Sociological theory; Gender, race, and sexuality; Qualitative methods; Ethnography

Courses Regularly Taught

Theories of Social Behavior; Sociology of Health and Illness; Advanced Theories of Social Behavior; Independent Study (Health, Tech & Society Lab); Sociology of Technology


Cruz, Taylor M. 2022. “The Social Life of Biomedical Data: Capturing, Obscuring, and Envisioning Care in the Digital Safety-Net.” Social Science & Medicine 294: 114670.

Hoffman, Steve G., Kelly Joyce, Sharla Alegria, Susan E. Bell, Taylor M. Cruz, Safiya Umoja Noble, Benjamin Shestakofsky, and Laurel Smith-Doerr. 2022. “Five Big Ideas about Artificial Intelligence.” Contexts 21(3): 8-15.

Cruz, Taylor M. 2022. “Shifting Analytics within US Biomedicine: From Patient Data to the Institutional Conditions of Health Care Inequalities.” Sexuality Research & Social Policy 19: 287-93.

Cruz, Taylor M. and Emily Allen Paine. 2021. “Capturing Patients, Missing Inequities: Data Standardization on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity across Unequal Clinical Contexts.” Social Science & Medicine 285: 114295.

Cruz, Taylor M. 2021. “Data Politics on the Move: Intimate Work from the Inside of a Data-Driven Health System.” Information, Communication & Society. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2021.1954972

Cruz, Taylor M. and Sheridan A. Smith.* 2021. “Health Equity Beyond Data: Health Care Worker Perceptions of Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data Collection in Electronic Health Records.” Medical Care. 59(5): 379-85. 

*Student co-author

Joyce, Kelly, Laurel Smith-Doerr, Sharla Alegria, Susan E. Bell, Taylor M. Cruz, Steve G. Hoffman, Safiya Umoja Noble, and Benjamin Shestakofsky. 2021. “Toward a Sociology of Artificial Intelligence: A Call for Research on Inequality and Structural Change.” Socius 7: 1-11.

Cruz, Taylor M. 2020. “Perils of Data-Driven Equity: Safety-Net Care and Big Data’s Elusive Grasp on Health Inequality.” Big Data & Society. January-June: 1-14. 

Cruz, Taylor M. 2017. “The Making of a Population: Challenges, Implications, and Consequences of the Quantification of Social Difference.” Social Science & Medicine. 174: 79-85. 

Nemoto, Tooru, Taylor M. Cruz, Mariko Iwamoto, and Maria Sakata. 2015. “A Tale of Two Cities: Access to Care and Services among African-American Transgender Women in Oakland and San Francisco.” LGBT Health 2(3): 235-42.

Cruz, Taylor M. 2014. “Assessing Access to Care for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People.” Social Science & Medicine. 110: 65-73.