England, Paula

Paula England

Professor of Sociology

Paula England is a Professor of Sociology and Director of Graduate Studies for the NYU Department of Sociology. Educated in Whitman College and the University of Chicago, she joined NYU, from Stanford, in 2010. She served as President of the American Sociological Association from August 2014 to August 2015.

England is author of two books, editor or coeditor of five more books, and author of numerous scholarly papers in prestigious professional journals. Her work is very widely cited and republished, with over 13,000 citations on Google Scholar and an H-index of 54 … both very high numbers for a sociologist. Her paper “The wage penalty for motherhood” in the American Sociological Review (2001) has so far received 1257 citations and her book Comparable worth: Theories and evidence (1992) has so far received 1075 citations.

England’s research explores changing family patterns; care work; sexual behavior; contraception; gender & labor markets. A lot of her work has concerned various forms of discrimination against women, in particular those that are less obvious. For example, she has shown that predominantly female occupations are associated with lower pay, adjusting for all relevant differences between occupations in the skills and education required, for both men and women. She argues that this is because the gender composition of different occupations influences employers when they set pay levels. When the percent female of an occupation goes up, furthermore, wage levels tend to decline in relative terms. More recently she has been doing considerable work on the effect of gender roles on casual sex and the “hookup” culture.

This body work has been widely recognized by numerous awards. These include: the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) Jessie Bernard Award for Distinguished Scholarship on Gender;  a Distinguished Career Award  from the ASA section on Sociology of the Family; the Frances Perkins Fellowship from the American Academy of Political and Social Science; and the Harriet Presser award from the Population Association of America.

England makes crucial mainstream contributions to the undergraduate and graduate teaching of Sociology, in demography and research methods as well as gender issues. She has also played an important role in the development of Sociology teaching at NYU Abu Dhabi, chairing the faculty recruitment committee on more than one occasion as well as teaching short courses there.

Overall, England is a very senior and widely recognized sociologist who has played in important part in the steep upwards trajectory of the Department of Sociology at NYU.

Silver Dialogues Essay

The sweeping changes in the gender system since the 1960s are sometimes called a “revolution.” Women’s employment increased dramatically (Cotter, Hermsen, and England 2008); birth control became widely available (Bailey 2006); women caught up with and surpassed men in rates of college graduation (Cotter, Hermsen, and Vanneman 2004, 23); Read More...