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 as part of the Gender, Family and
Sexuality series within the Population, Society and Inequality colloquium, and the opportunity to
be involved in projects currently pursued by faculty and advanced graduate students.



  •  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

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 our six core courses.

SOC 211A - Sociology of Gender

SOC 219 -  Feminist Theory

SOC 232 - Inequality 

SOC 260A - Family & Households

SOC 269 - Contemporary Inequalities in U.S. Families

SOC 269 - Gender and Work


To complete the written exam, students must contact the cluster coordinators (Catherine Bolzendahl and Belinda Robnett) 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.



Catherine Bolzendahl (co-cluster coordinator)

  • SOC 269- Gender, Family and the Welfare state
  • Women in Legislature: Causes and Consequences
  •  Family Research Practicum

 David Frank

  • SOC 279- Sexuality and Social Institutions

Matt Huffman

  •  SOC 232- Inequality 

Andrew Penner

  • SOC 239-  Women in Science
  • Biological Bodies and Social Inequality

Belinda Robnett (co-cluster coordinator)

  • SOC 211A- Sociology of Gender
  • SOC 239- Racial and Ethnic Feminist Perspectives

Judy Treas

  • SOC 260A- Family & Households
  • SOC 261A- Life Course Sociology
  • SOC 269- Sociology of Later Life

Kristin Turney

  • SOC 269- Inequalities in Contemporary U.S. Families
  • Families and Health

Sabrina Strings

  •  SOC 211A- Sociology of Gender
  •  SOC 219- Feminist Theory

Rachel Goldberg

  • SOC 269- Sociological Perspectives on Transitions to Adulthood

Jennifer Buher-Kane

  • **Currently working on grant research, courses will be announced at a later date**



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

  •   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


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