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Mignon Duffy

Mignon Duffy, Ph.D. Chair of Sociology, Associate Professor


Intersections of gender, race, and class; care work; labor market inequalities; research methods; and social policy.

Research Interest

Educational Background

Ph.D., Sociology and Social Policy, Brandeis University, Sociology Department and Heller School for Social Policy
M.A., Social Policy, Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy
B.A., Social Stratification, Washington University


Mignon Duffy’s primary research interests center around care work – the work of taking care of others, including children and those who are elderly, ill or disabled. She is particularly interested in how the social organization of care intersects with gender, race, class and other systems of inequality. Her first book, Making Care Count: One Hundred Years of Gender, Race, and Paid Care Work, combines quantitative, historical, and interpretive methods to analyze the emergence and organization of care work occupations in health care, education, child care, and social services. She is a co-editor of Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care, which collects cutting edge research across a range of care work occupations. Duffy is also the co-chair of the Carework Network, a national organization of care work researchers and advocates. Her research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as Gender & Society and Social Problems. Committed to connecting her research to policy, Duffy has worked in collaboration with other UMass researchers to document the care sector in Massachusetts as a tool for policymakers.

Since coming to UMass Lowell in 2004, Duffy has been an Associate of the Center for Women and Work (CWW) and currently serves as its Associate Director.  As the Founding Director of the Emerging Scholars Program, she works to match selected undergraduate students of the FAHSS College with faculty and support them in a year-long research collaboration. In 2013, the University recognized Duffy for her dedication to engaged teaching by awarding her the College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Service Learning Award. Duffy has also been involved in a number of interdisciplinary programs, including Gender Studies and Labor Studies.  She loves teaching research methods to sometimes reluctant students, and also enjoys teaching gender, feminist theory, and social policy courses.


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Gender
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Sociology of Work
  • Sociological Research I
For the latest course information please consult the UMass Lowell online Academic Catalog.

Selected Publications

  • Duffy, Mignon, Amy Armenia, and Clare Stacey. (editors). 2015. Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care Work. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.,5270.aspx
  • Duffy, Mignon, Randy Albelda, and Clare Hammonds. 2013. “Counting Care Work: The Empirical and Policy Applications of Care Theory.” Social Problems 60 (2): 145-167.
  • Duffy, Mignon. 2011. Making Care Count: A Century of Gender, Race, and Paid Care Work. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.,3712.aspx
  • Duffy, Mignon. 2005. “Reproducing Labor Inequalities: Challenges for Feminists Conceptualizing Care at the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class.” Gender & Society 19 (1): 66-82.