Education

  • Ph.D. Brown University, Sociology
  • M.A. Cornell University, Development Sociology
  • B.A. Cornell University, Rural Sociology

Areas of Expertise

  • Parental Leave Policy
  • Gender Equality
  • Modern Families
  • Work and Family
  • Fatherhood

Background

I teach courses on gender, family, sport, statistics and research methods. My classes challenge normative conceptions of gender and examine the role of institutions in shaping these norms. I like to center students’ voices in the classroom and particularly enjoy engaging students in research projects.   

My research examines aspects of modern marriage, parenting and family. My first book, Superdads: How Fathers Balance Work and Family in the 21st Century, focuses on fathers who adjust their work lives to suit their families. My second book, Fixing Parental Leave, offers policy lessons from Sweden and the UK. I have been a Fulbright Scholar at the  University of Leicester (UK) as well as a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and Umeå University (Sweden).

Courses

I am teaching the following courses in 2020-2021:

  • SOC 201: Social Statistics (Spring)
  • SOC 217: Sociology of Gender & Sexuality (Fall)
  • SOC 246: Modern Families (Fall)
  • SOC 310: Gender, Race, & Sports (Spring)

Thesis Advising

  • Acton, Lillian ’20 – Let’s talk about sex: An evaluation of Davidson College’s first-year sex education programs
  • Bair, Molly ‘19 – Motherhood identities: Choice and agency for employed and stay-at-home mothers
  • Cabrera McDonald, Jaela ’18 – The “open secret”: An exploration of the racialized and gendered experiences of black women healthcare professionals in the workplace
  • Holmes, Shelby ’20 – Red pill women: Women in the men’s rights movement
  • Luong, Khanh ‘18 – Understanding abortion in Vietnam: Attitudes and behaviors regarding abortion among women and health care providers in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Mayer, Sarah ’20 – Yo’ mama’s so fat! An analysis of fat motherhood under neoliberalism
  • Olvera, José ’19 – Race and gender dynamics in the online gaming community
  • Reliford, Margaret ’20 – The process of commodification: Housing affordability in Davidson
  • Samuels, Ryan ‘18 – Race and gender impact on commentary over black athletes

Davidson News

Gayle Kaufman Prof. Sociology

The conversation about parental leave in the United States is shifting quickly. With leave for new mothers widely available, more fathers are seeking to spend time with their children as well. Paternity leave—once unthinkable among working males—is now a premium benefit offered by a growing number of corporations.  

Gayle Kaufman Prof. Sociology

It sounds so simple: Good things happen when parents spend time with their children. But fathers in the United States increasingly don’t get to see their children as much as they would like. More than ever, dads feel that work is robbing them of the opportunity to be present during their children’s lives.