Family Working Group







Established in academic year 2004-2005, the purpose of the Family Working Group is to provide a forum for students and faculty interested in family sociology and family issues to present their work in progress, to strengthen ties between family scholars at UCLA, and to invite outside speakers to discuss their current research.


As sociologists, we conceptualize the family as a social institution - meaning it involves a set of social roles (such as parent, partner, or child), with some shared understanding of expectations regarding how we should behave in these roles and what kinds of obligations are associated with them. As with any social institution, the family is malleable over time, across contexts, and can be difficult to define at its margins. A wide variety of substantive topics, methodological approaches, and historical and geographic contexts of family life are reflected in the work of family scholars at UCLA. One of the primary goals of the working group is to highlight and strengthen this important area of intellectual activity within the department and across UCLA more generally.

Primary aims of the working group include:
1) Improving communication and strengthening connections among family scholars within UCLA's Department of Sociology.
2) Developing connections and strengthening existing ties with family scholars working elsewhere at UCLA and at other local or UC-affiliated institutions.
3) Inviting influential external scholars in the family area to speak at UCLA.

The Family Working Group meets several times each quarter and includes a mix of the talk formats described above. The internal talks are informal, running for one hour over lunch. Presentations by external speakers run for an hour and a half. Activities of the Family Working Group are funded in part by the Department of Sociology through the Irene Flecknoe Ross Lecture Series, which is made possible by a gift from Ray Ross in memory of his wife.


Please direct questions and comments about the Family Working Group to Sara Johnsen(sjohnsen AT or Lei Feng (fenglei AT

Faculty Coordinator:
Professor Judith A. Seltzer
seltzerj AT

Professor Patrick Heuveline
heuveline AT

Student Coordinators:
Sara Johnsen
sjohnsen AT

Lei Feng
fenglei AT

Last update 10/06/16 by Lei Feng.