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Families and Inequality

Faculty Associate Philip Cohen brings sociology research to the public eye by tackling thorny issues about race, gender, family, and inequality in an online public forum.

Dr. Cohen writes regularly for The Atlantic and is the author of the forthcoming sociology textbook The Family:  Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change, to be published by W.W. Norton in 2014.  His influential blog, Family Inequality, is regularly cited in publications such as the New York Times, MSN News, and the International Herald Tribune. 

Dr. Cohen’s work concerns the sociology of families, social demography, and social inequality. He is interested in family structure, marriage and divorce, and the way we measure, count and describe people in and around families. He also studies gender and racial / ethnic segregation in occupations, and the division of labor within couples and families. Most recently, he has written about: the decline in marriage rates and its relation to gender roles within marriage and childcare; gender equity in the workforce; gay marriage and parenting; and race relations in connection to the George Zimmerman trial. 

In a recent post on The Atlantic, Dr. Cohen argued that with marriage rates on a steady decline, public policy should catch up with the reality that fewer and fewer children are being raised in homes with two married parents. Marriage rates will most likely continue to taper over the coming decades, with more children growing up without the financial benefits that the social welfare system provides to married parents. Dr. Cohen writes, “Rather than try to redirect the ship of marriage, we have to do what we already know we have to do:  reduce the disadvantages accruing to those who aren’t married - or whose parents aren’t married.”

Dr. Cohen's work can be found at