Family and Gender
The Family and Gender area in sociology at Purdue University combines the oldest specialization in the department (family) with one of the most dynamic specialties within the discipline: gender. This area investigates family, marriage and other intimacy-based relationships, sexualities, and gender in society. Graduate students can pursue Ph.D. and M.S. degrees with this specialization.
The department was founded in 1947 by Dr. Harold T. Christensen, an internationally renowned scholar in the sociology of family. Currently, the specialization attracts scholars studying a wide variety of issues such as: family violence; gender and media; sexualities in non-Western cultures; masculinities; family-work connections; family and the law; gender diversity; gender and education; gender and welfare; gender and social movements; and gender and resistance.
The Family and Gender specialization is one of the largest and most diverse in the department. Students choosing this area are introduced to scholars who have diverse theoretical and methodological approaches. The specialty also benefits from the interdisciplinary programs: African American Studies; American Studies; Gerontology; and Women's Studies; as well as the Black Cultural Center; International Center and the Department of Child Development and Family Studies.
The objective of the Family and Gender program is to prepare students as scholars in the areas of family, sex, and/or gender. Graduates may seek to conduct or apply research, to teach in universities or other settings, or to work with individuals, couples and families in more direct ways.