Sarah Damaske is an Assistant Professor of Labor and Employment Relations. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Sociology from New York University and, following her doctoral work, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Sociology Department at Rice University. Her areas of specialization include gender, work-family, class and race. Dr. Damaske’s research investigates how competing forces of stratification, particularly gender, race and class, influence work and family transitions. Her book, For the Family? How Class and Gender Shape Women’s Work, is forthcoming (October 2011) with Oxford University Press. In it, Dr. Damaske challenges the popular perception that middle-class women “choose” whether or not to work, while working class women “need” to work. Dr. Damaske deflates the myth that financial needs dictate if women work, revealing that financial resources make it easier for women to remain at work and not easier to leave it. She argues that the public debate is wrongly centered on need because women respond to pressure to be selfless mothers and emphasize family need as the reason for their work choices. Whether the decision is to stay home or go to work, women from all classes say work decisions are made for their families.
Other research by Dr. Damaske has been published in Gender & Society, Sociological Forum, and Social Science Research. Dr. Damaske's research has received grants from the National Science Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and awards from the American Sociological Association, the Sociologists for Women in Society, the Eastern Sociological Society, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems.