Professor Milkie earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University and was Professor at the University of Maryland before joining the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto in 2014. Her expertise lies in the areas of culture, gender & family, the work-family interface, and health. She teaches courses such as the sociology of mental health and disorder, sociology of health and illness, the life course, social psychology, gender, and research methods.
Professor Milkie writes extensively about time spent in work and family roles and its implications for health and well-being. With Suzanne Bianchi and John Robinson, she is author of the award-winning Changing Rhythms of American Family Life; this research examines changes in mothers’ and fathers’ time allocations across four decades, as well as parents’ feelings about time. Professor Milkie also systematically examines family dynamics, especially linked to the work-family interface, including how parents’ work-family roles shape children’s health, how a spouse’s work conflicts affect the other partner, and how children influence parents’ mental health. Some of her research assesses cultural models of gender, work and family -- for example surrounding “involved fathering” and “intensive mothering” – and of cultural images of social groups like girls, mothers, or African-Americans – which can be stereotypical and narrow and thus detrimental to health. Her earlier work in the sociology of culture focused on the efficacy of girls’ critical assessments of media images, changes in claims of feminist identity over generations, and on ethnic groups in children’s picture books during the 20th Century. Current projects include an analysis of Parents’ magazine’s framing of blame for low father involvement over the 20th and 21st centuries, and U.S. and Canadian newspapers’ discussions of the “Mommy Wars.” At Maryland, she was founding director of The Culture Lab: http://www.theculturelab.umd.edu/.
She has served as Deputy Editor at Gender & Society and American Sociological Review. At Maryland, she served as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advance Professor of Inclusive Excellence. Currently Professor Milkie is chair of the Graduate Department of Sociology at Toronto.