Margot Jackson Associate Professor of Sociology

My research is in the broad areas of social stratification and social demography, with an emphasis on inequality of educational opportunity, health, and children and families.  I am interested in the dynamics of inequality over the life cycle and across generations, and the ways in which circumstances during childhood have long-reaching effects throughout children’s schooling and into adulthood.

One area of research incorporates a temporal dimension into research on health and social stratification.  Several papers examine how the timing and duration of poor health throughout childhood produces inequality in academic achievement and eventual socioeconomic attainment.  Other papers examine how policies targeted at the period of early childhood—specifically, U.S. childhood nutritional policy—play a role in reducing academic inequality. 

A second area of research examines the emergence of socioeconomic inequality in development among children in immigrant families, among whom we observe a puzzling contradiction to patterns observed among children in native-born families.

Finally, a new project examines changes in the relationship between parental resources and parenting practices that are strongly implicated in youths’ academic achievement.  I examine whether the content of time in the family setting has changed across historical time in a way that is patterned by parental resources, and whether these changes have contributed to the striking growth in inequality observed in children’s academic performance.

My research has been published in Social Forces, Demography, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, Social Science Research and other venues, and funded by NIH and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.  At Brown, I am also an affiliate of the Population Studies and Training Center (PSTC) and the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.   I received my PhD in sociology from UCLA in 2007. 

Brown Affiliations