Why Do Gender Inequalities Persist in Economic Development, Work and Families?
Despite large-scale social changes over the last several decades, gender is still a key factor that influences who generates economic growth as an entrepreneur, who does the housework, and who leads scientific discoveries. The central goal of my research is to identify and understand the social processes that reproduce particularly persistent forms of inequality like these. My analytic strategy centers on making theoretical connections between micro-level social psychological processes and macro-level institutional structures. To this end, I employ multiple methodologies, including laboratory studies, large-scale survey analysis, cross-national comparisons and in-depth interviews.
My primary line of research focuses on gender inequality in entrepreneurship and innovation. Three studies on this topic suggest that social policies and widely shared cultural beliefs about gender work together to structure the context in which individuals a) perceive business ownership as a viable labor market option and b) gain legitimacy and support for their business idea. In two follow-up projects, I am investigating how the financial crisis has impacted rates of start-up and investment for men and women entrepreneurs in the high-tech sector. In other work, I consider how norms of masculinity and social policies matter for understanding areas such as the household division of labor, gender ideologies, and men’s overrepresentation in academic science and engineering.
Thébaud, Sarah. 2013. “Entrepreneurship.” Pp. 251-254 in Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia edited by Vicki Smith. Sage Publications.
Thébaud, Sarah. 2011. “Social Policies and Entrepreneurship: Institutional Foundations of Gender Gaps across 24 Countries.” Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.
Correll, Shelley J., Sarah Thébaud and Stephen Benard. 2007. “An Introduction to the Social Psychology of Gender”. Pp. 1-18 in Shelley J. Correll, ed., Social Psychology of Gender (Advances in Group Processes Volume 24) New York: Elsevier.
SOC 196H: Honors Practicum
SOC 108A: Research Traditions
SOC 245A: Graduate Gender Seminar
SOC 185G: Theories of Gender and Inequality