Event Date and Time
1101 Morrill Hall
Maryland Population Research Center
Associate Professor Vida Maralani

About the Presentation

The intersection of gender, work, and family has been an area of long-standing interest in the fields of social stratification, economics, and demography. This area of research has been particularly important in light of American women’s widespread participation in the labor force and the large increase in the proportion of mothers who remain in the labor force after the birth of a child. At the same time, a growing literature documents differences in child investment by family socioeconomic status and the rise of a class-differentiated parenting culture of intensive parenting that demands large investments of parental time and money. Our project focuses on the intersection of these two important literatures, linking women’s parenting practices with their labor market outcomes across the life course. We investigate how women’s work and wage trajectories differ by family resources and time-intensive child investment. We study two types of child investment: breastfeeding duration and reading daily to young children (ages 3-5), linking these to women’s work participation and occupational characteristics across the life course. The core goal of our study is to understand how families buy more time with children, and at what cost.

About the Speaker

Vida Maralani of Cornell University studies social inequality and how it comes about. How do families come to have certain bundles of resources? How is inequality passed down from parents to children? How does it change over time? Her research is distinctive for bringing demography to bear on explaining inequality, and capturing the multidimensionality and dynamics of inequality. She approaches inequality as a process in motion rather than a static snapshot, showing how different resources are inter-related both across the life course and generations. Substantively, Maralani works in the areas of education, gender, and health behaviors, and most recently, child investment and women’s work trajectories.

For more information, contact Jennifer Doiron at jdoiron1 [at] umd [dot] edu or 301-405-6403.