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I study social inequality and mobility, examining who gets ahead in life and why. My PhD research focused on the college-to-career transition, how college graduates interpret and respond to underemployment, and how gender shapes economic inequality.


Dernberger, Brittany N., and Joanna R. Pepin. 2020. “Gender Flexibility, but not Equality: Young Adults’ Division of Labor Preferences.” Sociological Science 7: 36-56. 

     Read the article at Sociological Science, an open access journal

Dernberger, Brittany. 2017. “Limited Intersectional Approaches to Veteran and Former Prisoner Reintegration: Examining Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.” Sociological Imagination 53(1): 100-131.

     Read the open access version on SocArXiv


Dernberger, Brittany. 2014. “A Fluid Two-Way Street: South African HIV/AIDS NGOs and their Environment.” SPNHA Review 10(1): 4-19.

     Read the open access version on Scholar Works


Project | 01
Dissertation | Self-Scarring Effects

The American Dream posits that individual perseverance will lead to increased economic security. Young people invest in college as a pathway to a good job. What happens when that investment doesn’t pay off? My dissertation examined how college graduates interpret and respond to underemployment through 60 interviews with recent graduates and analysis of longitudinal survey data. Read it here.

Project | 02
Young Adults' Gender Attitudes

Following up on our initial paper about youths' division of labor attitudes, Joanna Pepin and I examine whose desired division of labor preferences come into fruition. We trace multiple cohorts of adolescents’ division of labor preferences through early adulthood, focusing on gender, race, and class differences in whose ideals are realized.

Project | 03
Job Values and the Gig Economy

What do people want from their job? How have job values changed in the new gig economy? I consider how job values have shifted over the past forty years, asking who can afford to "do what they love." 

To learn more or discuss possible collaboration, let's talk >>
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