2010 Frances Perkins Fellow
Paula England is a professor of Sociology at New York University. Before joining NYU, she was co-director of a new Stanford-Harvard Collaboration for Poverty Research, aimed at promoting new policy initiatives to deal with social problems related to inequality and poverty. England’s research has focused primarily on understanding women in the labor market, especially the gender gap in pay and how it flows from sex segregation of occupations. Segregation arises from both employer hiring discrimination and gendered socialization that leads men and women to different interests. Once occupations have been segregated, her research has documented that there is a systematic devaluation of female occupations, so they are awarded less pay than male occupations requiring similar kinds of skills. She has also done research on the “motherhood penalty” in pay and its causes.
England is the author of Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence (Aldine, 1992) and of Households, Employment and Gender: A Social, Economic, and Demographic View (Aldine, 1986). She co-edited (with Kathryn Edin) Unmarried Couples with Children (Russell Sage Foundation, 2007) and Industries, Firms, and Jobs: Sociological and Economic Approaches (with George Farkas) (Plenum, 1988). She has also studied the dynamics of married and cohabiting couples and how they are affected by power, gender norms, and emotional skills. In addition to being recognized for her outstanding scholarship, England is known for mentoring new scholars and for fostering dialogue between sociologists, economists, demographers, and feminists. She has been professor of sociology at Northwestern University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as director of Women’s Studies and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Women and Gender. She has also testified as an expert witness in a number of Title VII discrimination cases.