Scholar Spotlight: Barbara Risman and Christine Percheski

  • Democracy & Governance

SSN is committed to advancing the use of research wherever policy decisions are made. This week’s scholar spotlight shines on two distinguished researchers helping to further that mission: Barbara Risman (Professor of Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago) and Christine Percheski (Associate Professor of Sociology and Institute for Policy Research Faculty Fellow, Northwestern University). Barbara and Christine are chapter co-leaders for Chicagoland SSN, which recently worked with six candidates - among them newly elected mayor Lori Lightfoot - in Chicago’s mayoral election. The chapter shared evidence-based policy information, including four policy briefs on topics important to city governance, and offered connections to experts on issues like public transportation and education reform. For more from Barbara and Christine, check out their new OpEd for The Fulcrum on why research and evidence are vital to smart policymaking. 

Scholar Spotlight

Northwestern University

Percheski’s research focuses on American families and the ways family life is changing, including recent increases in unmarried parenthood and the rise of new employment patterns among mothers and fathers. Much of her work considers how changes in family life affect poverty, income inequality, and access to health insurance for children and adults. She asks how public policies should adapt to changes in American families.

University of Illinois at Chicago

Risman’s teaching and research focuses on women’s status in society and the changing politics and policies around gender and sexual inequality. Her areas of expertise include work and family policies, changing family roles, the diversity of family structure and the Millennial generation. Risman’s current research looks at how Millennials adapt to or demand changes in work, family, and civic society relating to gender diversity.