Gender, Work & Family Overview

Coordinator:  Liana Sayer   |  (301) 405-6438  |  lsayer@umd.edu

The Gender, Work and Family specialization investigates the relationship between the sociology of gender and the two closely related fields of family sociology and the sociology of work. It is the focus on the intersection of these established fields of study as a coherent whole that makes the Gender, Work, and Family specialty an innovative program. Students have the opportunity to take courses and engage in research on the connections among gender, work, and family and pursue a specialization that is unique among American departments of sociology.

A major strength of the Gender, Work, and Family specialty is the breadth of teaching and research interests represented among its core faculty. Faculty members’ expertise spans the areas of Political Economy (particularly Development and Social Stratification), Social Demography, Social Psychology, Race and Ethnicity, Military Sociology and Theory. This greatly facilitates the examination of gender, work, and family issues at different levels of analysis (e.g., macro versus micro) and from a variety of perspectives (e.g., socioeconomic, demographic, social psychological). It also encourages attention to diversity along economic and racial lines and emphasizes the importance of international comparisons in the study of gender, work, and family.

Faculty Interests

The faculty members active in the area include Feinian Chen, Philip Cohen, Patricia Hill Collins, Sonalde Desai, Bonnie Dill (Women’s Studies), Sandra Hofferth (Family Studies), Joan Kahn, Kris Marsh, Melissa Milkie, Liana Sayer, and Reeve Vanneman. Faculty include those whose research and teaching combines the study of gender with the study of development (Desai, Vanneman), social psychology (Milkie), social demography (Desai, Kahn, Sayer, Vanneman), social stratification (Cohen, Marsh, Sayer, Vanneman), race and ethnicity (Collins, Dill, Marsh), and theory (Collins).

Graduate Student Research Opportunities and Employment

A specialization in Gender, Work, and Family will qualify students to teach a number of attractive and popular sociology courses. These include mainstays of many sociology programs, such as family sociology, gender and society, and work and the family. Research opportunities in each of these areas are also exceptionally good and are likely to remain so in the future. Additionally, those who choose to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies enhance their employment prospects in Women’s Studies programs.

Useful Links for Gender, Work, and Family Scholars: