Jennifer Keene, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts


Jennifer Keene studies gender and age stratification as well as paid work and family issues. In recent years, she has conducted research on work-family balance and tradeoffs, as well as the effects of spousal caregiving on survivors' well-being in widowhood. Currently Keene is working on several projects examining disparities in the provision and use of employer provided health insurance and other research on children's economic well-being in two-parent families and those being raised by grandparents. With Andrea Fontana, Keene recently published Death and Dying in America (2009, Polity Press). In 2002, Keene co-founded a local chapter of Sociologists for Women in Society, which continues to meet each semester. In 2005, she won the College of Liberal Arts William Morris Teaching Award and the UNLV Alumni Association Award for Student-Centeredness. She joined the UNLV faculty in 2001.

Recent Courses Taught

  • SOC 410/610 — Sociology of Aging and the Life Course
  • SOC 447 — Marriage and the Family
  • SOC 704 — Graduate Advanced Analytical Techniques
  • SOC 779 — Graduate Seminar in Sociology of Aging and the Life Course

Current Research Projects

  • Employee Health Benefits
    In this work, she and her co-author use the National Study of the Changing Workforce to examine how gender, family status, and employer contributions to premiums, relate to workers' propensities for enrolling in their employer-provided health benefit plans.
  • Grandfamilies
    In two separate co-authored projects, they examine the economic well-being of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. In particular, we focus on how gender, race and ethnicity, and the structural arrangement of the family relate to the economic well-being of these families.
  • The Work-Family Nexus
    Her research on work and family balance continues to focus on the permeability (or lack thereof) of the boundaries of work and family life and also on how paid work influences the division of household labor.