I hold the Canada Research Chair in Gender Work and Care. I am also a Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Brock University in the beautiful Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. For the last twenty years, most of my work has hovered around, and landed on, two central puzzles; the first relates to enduring gender differences in the ‘response-ability’ for care work, domestic life, and community work while the second is about how we come to know and represent ordinary and extraordinary stories.
More broadly, my scholarly articles and book chapters have sought to make sense of, and illuminate, empirical and theoretical understandings of gendered lives and subjectivities around work and care, and more recently, consumption practices. This has meant excavating evidence and meanings of changing practices of paid and unpaid work; issues of relationality, responsibility, and autonomy in work and care; household work strategies; embodiment in diverse sites, spaces and times; masculinities and femininities; care and justice; and intersections between gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality and age.
My recent research interests are in: everyday consumption practices and environmental issues; adding time (historical, generational, biographical) to analyses of gender, work, care, and consumption; narrative analysis; links between fiction and sociology; visual, narrative, and digital story telling; and reflexive sociology. Many of these research interests occur in conversation with others, most notably my work on reflexive sociology with my colleague, Natasha Mauthner.
What matters in my work: to write sociology that is critical, accessible, creative, which holds the potential to move a few others – in a small fraction of the way that an Alice Munro short story, or Sharon Olds poem, moves me.
Academic and work background:
- BA at York University (in Political Theory, but started in Creative Writing with W.O. Mitchell);
- MA in International Development Studies at Carleton University (thesis on Nicaraguan revolution);
- Six years and eleven countries in Central and South America, mainly as a participatory researcher and trainer in water supply projects for the United Nations, World Bank, and several NGOs;
- PhD from Cambridge University (as a Commonwealth Scholar, working with Carol Gilligan);
- Fifteen years working in academia; twenty years working as a mother (of three).