James H. Rudy Professor of Sociology, Indiana University
Topics of Expertise:
Adoption & Foster Care / Biracial/ Multicultural Children and Interracial/ Multicultural Families / Children / Division of Labor in Families / Feminism & Families / Gender & Sexuality / LGBTQ Partnering & Families / Marriage & Divorce
Professor Powell’s research focuses on family, education, gender, and sexuality. With grants from the National Science Foundation, American Education Research Association, and the Spencer Foundation, he has examined how families confer advantages (or disadvantages) to their children and how family structure influences parental investments in children. He is especially interested in several increasingly visible groups of “atypical” family forms: families with older parents, bi/multiracial families, adoptive families, and gay/lesbian families. His research has appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Sociology of Education, Social Psychology Quarterly, the American Journal of Public Health, Science Advances, and the Harvard Education Review, among others.
Professor Powell’s award-winning book, COUNTED OUT: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family — coauthored with Catherine Bolzendahl, Claudia Geist and Lala Carr Steelman — documented the transformation in how Americans define family and, in turn, their views regarding same-sex families. He currently is working on his next book, WHO SHOULD PAY? Higher Education, Responsibility and the Public, which explores Americans’ views regarding the role of parents, children, and the government in college funding. He also is completing a series of studies that consider Americans’ views regarding same-sex parenting, transgender youths and adults, and denial of services to same-sex and interracial couples.