Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations and Sociology, The Pennsylvania State University
Topics of Expertise:
Childcare (Providers & Systems) / Division of Labor in Families / Economic Inequality / Feminism & Families / Gender & Sexuality / Parenthood: Motherhood/Fatherhood / Work & Family
Dr. Sarah Damaske’s research focuses on how work and family transitions lead to cumulating inequalities over the life course. Dr. Damaske’s first book, For the Family? How Class and Gender Shape Women’s Work (Oxford University Press, 2011 found that engaging in paid work steadily over the life course was a limited resource more easily accessed by middle-class women. Yet most women use a “for the family” language to explain their work decisions; whether the choice is to work or stay at home, gendered norms about caregiving lead women to say the choice is made “for their families.” In addition to awards from the National Women’s Studies Association and the North Central Sociological Association, the book was named one of the “most influential books published on the family since 2000” by Contemporary Sociology. Currently, with the support of grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Sociological Association, Dr. Damaske is writing her second book examining class and gender differences in job loss and unemployment. There have been hundreds of media citations of her research, including multiple stories in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR, as well as featured stories in the Wall Street Journal, ABC Nightly News, and the BBC.