Department of Sociology
Laura A. Sanchez
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1992
Professor Sanchez’ primary research addresses the gender division of labor and how struggles and negotiations over the meanings of masculinity and femininity in public arenas and private life affect U.S. families. A vein of her research explores housework, employment and leisure patterns across various sub-populations, and whether gender ideologies and gender inequities influence perceptions of unfairness, ambivalence, anger, and relationship difficulties. A second substantial vein of research explores the social and personal consequences of the proliferation of forms of unions, marriages, and intimate connections. Specifically, she uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches to explore cultural, political, familial and personal struggles between the “deinstitutionalization” versus “reinstitutionalization” of marriage, in light of cohabitation, contested marriage law reforms such as covenant and same-sex marriage, and the rise of non-marriage. Last, she is beginning a new line of research in human-animal interaction studies, using feminist-based methodologies, to explore whether and how families perceive animal companions as facilitators of resilience among adolescents, upon the transition to adulthood. She is an interdisciplinary scholar who broadly self-defines as a feminist demographer, family sociologist, gender studies theorist, and methodologist.