Associate Professor of Sociology, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Topics of Expertise:
Cohabitation, Committed Relationships & Marriage / Couples Conflict, Separation & Divorce / Division of Labor in Families / Economic Inequality / Gender & Sexuality / History & Trends on Gender, Marriage & Family Life / Labor & Workforce / Parenthood: Motherhood/Fatherhood / Singles & Dating / Work & Family
As a millennial generation sociologist, Professor Kuperberg’s research studies cutting edge topics related to social change in the family, gender and sexuality in her generation, such as ‘opting out’, cohabitation, college hookups, academic motherhood, and student loans.
Her research generally grapples with three interests: First, why don’t more women ‘have it all,’ meaning a highly successful career, a happy marriage with a spouse living in the same household, and children? Related to this, she has published journal articles examining motherhood in academia, occupational segregation, stay at home moms, and the transition from cohabitation to traditional marriage, as explanations for the gender pay gap.
Second, how and why does social change happen? Which types of people are most likely to engage in innovative behavior such as cohabiting, hooking up, coming out as gay or lesbian, going to graduate school (among women in 1970), leaving extreme religious groups, and having stay at home husbands?
A third interest is examining (and sometimes overturning) modern day myths about romantic relationships, gender, and motherhood. She has published research overturning scientific and popular wisdom on the differences between cohabitation and marriage, the relationship between cohabitation and divorce, and has examined the media depictions of reasons women “opt out” of the workforce to become stay at home mothers, and how media depictions mismatch demographic trends. She currently has ongoing research examining selection into hookups versus dates among college students, and risky behavior during hookups. She is also examining correlations of a homosexual identity or being “in the closet” / “on the down low” among college students who hook up with same sex partners, and the degree to which data confirms or overturns media portrayals of these phenomenon.
Dr. Kuperberg’s research primarily uses analyses of large datasets and systematic content analysis of the media, and an economic sociological feminist theoretical framework. Her work has been published in leading sociology and interdisciplinary journals including Social Forces, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Gender & Society.