Gender is a key form of stratification in societies globally and family represents a central social institution. As represented by the strengths of our faculty, some of the most innovative research is to be found at the intersection of family and gender. Faculty expertise in these areas is represented in a wide array of course offerings including the social construction of gender, gendered racial hierarchies, families and households, sexualities, the life course, and gender and family inequality in a variety of outcomes.

Students specializing in this area benefit from the depth of faculty knowledge, but also their lively research agenda. These resources include regular talks offered through centers within the School of Social Sciences and Department of Sociology, and the opportunity to be involved in projects currently pursued by faculty and advanced graduate students.



Swethaa Ballakrishnen
Catherine Bolzendahl (On Leave 2020-21)
Laura Enriquez
David Frank
Glenda Flores
Rachel Goldberg
Matt Huffman
Valerie Jenness
Andrew Penner
Belinda Robnett-Olsen (On Leave 2020-21)
Sabrina Strings, Undergraduate & Honors Program Director
Judy Treas, Distinguished Emerita Professor
Kristin Turney, Cluster Coordinator
Linda Trinh Vo




Students wishing to take the written exam or to submit coursework as evidence of expertise will complete three approved cluster courses. At least two of these should be chosen from the following six core courses:

  • Soc 211A, Sociology of Gender
  • Soc 219, Feminist Theory
  • Soc 232, Inequality
  • Soc 260A, Family & Households
  • Soc 269, Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Families
  • Soc 269, Gender and Work

To complete the written exam, students must contact the cluster coordinator who will work with the student to obtain a reading list, which may be specialized within a broader sub-area (e.g., gender and sexuality; family and life course). Students wishing to submit coursework as evidence of expertise must obtain approval by the cluster coordinator.



  • Soc 211A, Sociology of Gender (Strings)
  • Soc 219, Feminist Theory (Strings)
  • Soc 232, Inequality (Huffman, Penner)
  • Soc 239, Inequality and Health (Goldberg)
  • Soc 269, Sociological Perspectives on Transitions to Adulthood (Goldberg)
  • Soc 269, Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Families (Turney)
  • Soc 269, Families and Health (Turney)
  • Soc 269, Gender and Work (Huffman)
  • Soc 279, Sexuality and Social Institutions (Frank)



We encourage newer graduate students interested in studying in this area to forge connections with students currently pursuing projects in this area. Recent graduate student projects encompass:

  • Interethnic and Interracial marriage among Asian-Americans
  • Effects of residential mobility on parenting behavior and child outcomes
  • Father School: Gender boot camp for Korean-American men
  • Farewell to mom: Trends in maternal contact
  • Why do older adults spend more time with family members?
  • Trends in gender attitudes: A cross-national analysis
  • Support for family equality across housework, budgets, and decision-making



The household division of labor in cross-national context
Family-work trade-offs? Gender and family time preferences
The motherhood penalty in 10 European countries
Relations Cross Nations: New relationships in cross-national perspective
Older adults in America's immigrant families
The strength of Latino families
Global trends in laws regulating sexual activity
Changes in approval of same-sex relationships and related policies
Effects of organizational and labor market characteristics on gender job segregation and wage inequality
Cultural influences on racial/ethnic women's employment
The construction of gender in politics and gendered political behavior
The effects of incarceration on family life
Nonmarital romantic relationships and health in early adulthood
The implications of family complexity for poverty and inequality
How gender and race influence interracial dating patterns
Gender and African-American political and civic engagement
Implications of romantic relationships for adolescent wellbeing
Family instability and adolescent wellbeing
parental monitoring of adolescent technology use
Gender, race/ethnicity, and health across the life course





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