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Mignon Duffy

Mignon Duffy
Mignon C. DuffyChair of Sociology, Associate Professor
  • College
    College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Department
  • Phone
    (978) 934-4329
  • Office
    Dugan Hall - 2nd Floor
  • Email

Research Interests

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


  • Ph D: Joint Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy, (2004), Brandeis University - Heller School for Social Policy - Waltham, MA
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: "One Hundred Years of Buying Care: Gender, Race, and Market Carework in the Twentieth Century"
  • MA: Social Policy, (2001), Brandeis University - Waltham, MA
  • BA: Social Stratification, (1992), Washington University - St. Louis, MO


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.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • FAHSS College Service-Learning Award (2013)
  • Omnicron Delta Kappa (2012), Leadership
  • Student Government Association Teaching Excellence Award (2010), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Department of Sociology Teaching Award (2008), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Carework Network Graduate Student Paper Prize (2004), Scholarship/Research
  • University Prize Instructorship (2004), Teaching - Brandeis University
  • Missy Carter Doctoral Dissertation Award (2003), Scholarship/Research
  • Phi Beta Kappa (1992)
  • George E. Mylonas Scholarship in the Humanities (1988), Scholarship/Research

Selected Publications

  • Duffy, M.C., Armenia, A., Stacey, C. (2015). Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care Work. Rutgers University Press
  • Duffy, M.C. (2014). For Love and Money: Care Provision in the United States/Beyond Caring Labour to Provisioning Work/Care Work and Class: Domestic Workers’ Struggle for Equal Rights in Latin America. (39:4 pp. 1038 - 1045). Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society
  • Duffy, M.C. (2013). Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work. (118:4 pp. 1129 - 1131). American Journal of Sociology
  • Duffy, M.C., Albelda, R. (U Mass Boston), Hammonds, C. (Brandeis University) (2013). Counting Care Work: The Empirical and Policy Applications of Care Theory. Social Problems, 60(2) 145-167.
  • Duffy, M.C. (2011). Making care count: a century of gender, race, and paid care work (pp. 0-0). Making care count: a century of gender, race, and paid care work
  • Duffy, M.C. (2010). "We are the Union": Care Work, Unions, and Social Movements. Humanity and Society, 34(2) 125-140.
  • Albelda, R., Duffy, M.C., Folbre, N., Hammonds, C., Suh, J. (2010). Placing a Value on Care Work. Communities & Banking, 21(1) 6-9.
  • Hansen, K.V., Duffy, M.C. (2008). Mapping The Dispossession: Scandinavian Homesteading At Fort Totten, 1900-1930. Great Plains Research, 18(1) 67-80.
  • Duffy, M.C. (2008). Welfare Discipline: Discourse, Governance, and Globalization. Humanity and Society, 32(1) 94-96.
  • Duffy, M.C. (2007). Doing the Dirty Work: Gender, Race, and Reproductive Labor in Historical Perspective. Gender & Society, 21(3) 313-336.

Selected Presentations

  • Carework as the Intersections of Work and Family - Carework and Inequality, 2012 - Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Engaging in Interdisciplinary Research - Doctoral Seminar in Nursing, 2012 - University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • - Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, 2012 - New York, New York
  • Featured Session on Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives on Care Work, 2012 - New York, New York
  • Child Care Crisis? Framing the Problem - Work Family Researchers Network Roundtable, 2012 - New York, New York
  • An Occupation Reborn? Domestic Service at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, 2011 - Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Paid Care Work: Women's Work Then and Now - Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, 2010 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • - FAHSS Division Meeting, 2010 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Not Just in Social Problems Courses: Social Justice, Reflexivity, and Teaching Research Methods - Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, 2010 - Atlanta, GA
  • Taking Care: Why Paid Care Matters to Our Bodies, Our Minds and Our Economy - Springfield College Annual Social Science Lecture, 2010 - Springfield, MA
  • Ethics in the Discipline of Sociology - Honors Seminar, 2009 - University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Did Serfdom Save the Women's Movement? - International Carework Conference, 2009 - San Francisco, CA
  • Public Sociologies in Practice: How Teaching Research Methods Engages Our Students - Association for Humanist Sociology Annual Meeting, 2008 - Boston, MA
  • The Care Work Debates - Families and the Economy, 2008 - Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • A Sociological Perspective on Work - Future of Work, 2008 - University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • A Sociological Perspective on Care - Honors Seminar, 2008 - University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • - Racialized Ideologies and Carework, 2008 - Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mapping the Ethnic Mosaic: Landowning at Spirit Lake, 1900-1930 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, 2007 - New York, New York
  • Creating a Care Movement: Bringing Together Vision and Strategy - Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting, 2007 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Can Quantitative Methods be Feminist? - Women's Studies Research Methods, 2007 - Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • - Gender Studies Symposium, 2006 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • - Organizing a Divided Labor Market: Challenges for Academics and Organizers, 2006 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • The History of the Global Care Chain: Immigrant Caring Labor in the United States - Social Sciences History Association Annual Meeting, 2006 - Minneapolis, MN
  • Racial Inequalities in Paid Care Work: An Historical Perspective - American Sociological Association Annual meeting, 2005 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • - Conference on Caring Labor, 2005 - Seattle, Washington
  • Organizing a Divided Labor Market: Occupational Mobility and the Road to Sustainability - Conference on Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Workplaces, 2005 - Lowell, Massachusetts
  • The Racialization of Low-Wage Care: Not Only a Women's Issue - International Carework Conference, 2004 - San Francisco, CA
  • Race, Gender, and Low-Wage Work: Two Perspectives on Care" - American Sociological Association, 2003 - Atlanta, GA
  • Using the Census in Historical Research - Historical and Comparative Methods, 2003 - Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Work and Gender Inequality - Feminist Critiques of American Society, 2000 - Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Understanding Paid Care Work - Gender, Work and Public Policy, 2000 - University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Making a Space for Interdisciplinary Feminist Approaches to Social Research - Feminist Graduate Student Association Conference, 1999 - Austin, TX
  • The Destiny of Biology: An Exploration of the Relationship between Biological Reproduction and Parenting Care among Lesbian Couples. - International Carework Conference, 1999 - Washington, D.C.

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • University of Massachusetts Healy Grant (2012), Grant - University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Duffy, M. (Co-Principal)
  • (2011), Grant - University of Massachusetts Creative Economy Initiative
    Duffy, M.
  • Learn and Serve Grant (2010), Grant -
    Duffy, M.
  • (2008), - University of Massachusetts Creative Economy Initiative
    Duffy, M. (Principal), Folbre, N., Albelda, R.
  • (2007), Grant - University Research and Scholarship Council
    Duffy, M.
  • Gender Studies Teaching Fellowship (2005), Fellowship -
    Duffy, M.
  • Brandeis University Dissertation Year Fellowship (2003), Fellowship - Brandeis University
    Duffy, M.
  • Shapiro Fellowship (1998), Fellowship -
    Duffy, M.