Research Workshop


Location: 339 O'Shaughnessy

Presenter: Abi Ocobock, PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Chicago

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage … Is Marriage Becoming Institutionalized among Same-Sex Couples?

The number of same-sex couples with access to legal marriage has grown rapidly in the past 10 years. Yet we still know very little about how gay men and lesbians experience marriage and the ways it impacts their lives. Abigail will present findings from her extensive interview and survey research with gay men and lesbians in Massachusetts, which was the first state to offer legal same-sex marriage. Focusing on their decisions to marry or not marry, she will show how gaining access to marriage has shaped gay men and lesbians’ relationship aspirations and experiences as well as examine whether marriage is becoming institutionalized among same-sex couples.

Abigail Ocobock is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Chicago, and a Dissertation Fellow at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexualities there. She has a BA in Politics from the University of East Anglia (UK) and a Masters in Comparative Social Policy from Oxford University. She is interested in how institutions shape and constrain our relationship and family experiences. Her dissertation focuses on marriage as a new institutional context in gay men and lesbians’ lives. Abigail’s work has been published in The Journal of Marriage and Family and has won the American Sociological Association Sexualities and Family Sections Best Graduate Student Paper Awards.

Research Workshop webpage

In order to advance the program’s commitment to inter-disciplinary research and inquiry into the subject of gender, the Gender Studies Program is pleased to announce an upcoming series of research workshops. The events will include presentations by advanced undergraduates majoring in Gender Studies as well as graduate students and faculty members from a variety of departments who work in the area of gender and sexuality. The workshop will begin with the week’s presenter giving a brief lecture on his or her current research in the field, followed by a seminar-style discussion.

If you would like to reserve a date for a presentation at one of the Research Workshops please contact either of our Research Workshop coordinators: Meagan Simpson or Robinson Murphy.