Family and the Life Course

A family drawn on four fingers.

Faculty and students who work in this area aim to understand the interplay between aging and the life course, family relationships, and changing social structures. A key question in this area is how broader structures of inequality (e.g. race, class, gender, period, place) shape how our individual and interpersonal lives play out. Through diverse methods, including in-depth interviewing, comparative, and quantitative approaches, scholars in this area both describe and explain these relationships, and their work yields implications for public policy, professional practice, and individual well-being. Courses and seminars in this area include families and inequality, families and public policy, social policies for aging societies, families and crime, sociology of death and dying, and life course sociology, among others.

Sub-fields

Family Inequality

The family is an important institution that is both embedded within and constitutive of broader structures of inequality. Scholars in this subfield examine stratification within and between families (e.g. by gender, race, social class, marital status), the micro and macro forces shaping family formation and family functioning, and how family behavior in turn shapes larger patterns of stratification.

Faculty

Healthy Aging

Scholars in this subfield examine aging over the life course as a social process. Research projects examine how social context and interpersonal relationships shape health and happiness across life course periods.

Faculty

Faculty

Ashley Barr.

430 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8453

abbarr@buffalo.edu

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests: Family; Family Inequality; Aging and Life Course; Health; Quantitative Methods

Sampson Blair.

430 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8472

slblair@buffalo.edu

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests: Sociology of the Family; Child and Adolescent Development; Gender; Ethnicity

Christopher Dennison.

430 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8473

crdennis@buffalo.edu

Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests: Life Course Criminology; Social Mobility; Social Responses to Crime; Social Stratification; Quantitative Methods

Lee faculty photo.

430 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8469

kslee4@buffalo.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests: Gender and the Life Course; Sociology of the Family; Aging; Education; Happiness; Japan

Debra Street.

430 Park Hall

Phone: (716) 645-8475

dastreet@buffalo.edu

Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Arts and Sciences

Research Interests: Health and Income Security; Long-term Care; Families, Aging and the Life Course; Comparative Public Policies/Welfare State; Mixed-methods Research Design