Professor, Sociology and Anthropology
Jennifer Utrata is a sociologist with expertise in how economic and cultural transformations shape gender and intimate relationships in families. Her research has focused on how ordinary people, especially single mothers, navigate the transition from state socialism to market capitalism during Russia’s “quiet revolution” in family life. Utrata is the author of Women without Men: Single Mothers and Family Change in the New Russia (Cornell, 2015), which won the 2016 Mirra Komarovsky Distinguished Book Award from the Eastern Sociological Society. Utrata also has expertise in nonresident fathers and divorce, the effects of work insecurities and neoliberal capitalism on the self, intergenerational relations between grandmothers and adult children, the intersectionality of gender and age, and the effects of unpaid care work on gender inequality. In addition to book chapters about families around the world, her articles include “Keeping the Bar Low: Why Russia’s Nonresident Fathers Accept Narrow Fatherhood Ideals,” in Journal of Marriage and Family (2008), and “Youth Privilege: Doing Age and Gender in Russia’s Single-Mother Families,” in Gender & Society (2011), which won a Distinguished Article Award from the American Sociological Association. For 2018-19 Utrata won an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship to research grandparental support and family inequality at University of Washington. Utrata teaches classes including Families in Society, Sociology of Gender, Social Theory, Men and Masculinities, and Gender, Work, and Globalization. Her recent research focuses on the child care crisis in the United States and how grandmothers’ unpaid care work shapes both the transition to parenthood and the economic mobility of families.