Gender and Poverty in the United States

Spring: Tuesdays, 5 – 8 PM, 2.2.10 – 5.11.12

The course provides multi-disciplinary social science approaches to understanding the intersection of gender, poverty, and inequality primarily in the United States.  The course will be an advanced reading seminar that explores various (including feminist) approaches to theorizing, measuring, experiencing and researching poverty. The course will also examine models, policies, and strategies to reduce poverty and inequality. The course will weave discussions throughout about how these approaches relate to students’ training in various graduate programs and the methodologies students will explore (and ultimately use) in their own research.


Randy Albelda is a professor of economics and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Social Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston.  Her research and teaching covers a broad range of economic policies affecting low-income women and families.  She is a coauthor of the books Glass Ceilings and Bottomless Pits: Women’s Work, Women’s Poverty, Unlevel Playing Fields: understanding Wage Inequality and Wage Discrimination,  and  The War on the Poor: A Defense Manual.

Deborah belle is Professor of Psychology at Boston Unviersity. Her research has focused on stress and depression among low-income mothers, women’s social networks and supports, and women in science careers.  Her books include Lives in Stress: Women and Depression and The After-School Lives of Children: Alone and With Others while Parents Work.

Lisa Dodson is research professor in the sociology department at Boston College.  She teaches and conducts research about low-income mothers and families. She wrote Don’t Call Us Out of Name: The Untold Lives of Women and Girls in Poor America, and recent articles include “Wage Poor Mothers and Moral Economy” and “Poor Women and Habits of Hiding: Participatory Methods in Poverty Research.” Her forthcoming book is The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert the Unfair Economy.

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Contact Us

Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085