Kristen Harknett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
Ph.D., Sociology and Demography, Princeton University, 2002
B.A., Sociology, University of Notre Dame, 1992
My research is motivated by the sociological contention that a person's social environment influences his or her most personal and important decisions, sometimes in ways that may not be apparent to the individuals involved. I demonstrate this idea by studying the role of context – city of residence, school, or labor market – in shaping romantic relationships. My research shows that male shortages and weak labor markets act as impediments to stable romantic relationships. One innovation in my research is to demonstrate that male shortages matter not only during the process of searching for a romantic partner, but they also influence the dynamics and trajectories of relationships that have already formed. In a second line of research, I investigate the importance of “private safety nets” comprised of supportive family members and friends. In this research, I examine how social support is unevenly distributed across individuals, and the consequences of lacking social support. Some of the topics I explore include the bi-directional relationship between fertility and social support, the correlation between personal and social network disadvantages, and the relationship between social support and psychological and material well-being.
Office: 271 McNeil Building
Penn Sociology Colloquium Series: Kimberly Kay Hoang, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 12:00pm
103 McNeil Building
Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women Lecture: Dorothy Roberts, Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 5:00pm
Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street
Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies Lecture: Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, Prof. of Sociology and Gender Studies, Univ. of Southern California
Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 12:00pm
GSWS Conference Room, 3810 Walnut Street