Joy E. Pixley

picture of Joy E. Pixley

Assistant Professor, Sociology
School of Social Sciences

Ph.D., Cornell University, 2002, Sociology

Phone: (949) 824-3235
Fax: (949) 824-4717

University of California, Irvine
3245 Social Sciences Plaza B
Irvine, CA 92697-510
Research Interests
Career Hierarchy / Career Priority, Dual-Career and Dual-Earner Couples, Work and Family, Life Course, Sex Stratification, Gender Roles, Research Design / Survey Research Methods
Academic Distinctions
Recipient of the 2009 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research (granted in 2010) for: “Life Course Patterns of Career-Prioritizing Decisions and Occupational Attainment in Dual-Earner Couples,” 2008, Work and Occupations, 35:127-163. For more information:
Research Abstract
I am currently finishing up, working on, or starting a number of projects with the following themes:

* Career-prioritizing in dual-earner couples. Which couples are likely to favor the woman’s career and which favor the man’s career? What does it mean to say that a decision “prioritizes” one career over the other? To what extent does having the secondary career constrain occupational attainment, net of other work investments -- and is the effect the same for men with secondary careers as for women? Are the processes any different for cohabiting couples than married couples? How does the pattern of prioritization over time affect long-term outcomes? (And if I had the data, I'd test how career hierarchy operates in same-sex couples.)

* Transition to adulthood. Early decisions about schooling, establishing a career, committing to a partner, and having children set the stage for later negotiations between partners about whose career is prioritized. Are young people planning ahead to best balance the work careers and personal lives they desire, or are they overly optimistic? To what extent are women with clear professional goals (e.g., in MBA programs) in worse positions than their male colleagues due to these early behaviors?

* Developing and applying life course methods. I continue to develop the life history graph approach (with Carter Butts) for assessing the interactions of individuals’ multiple life roles over time or the interaction of spouses’ work roles over time. I am also working on the interpolated curve approach, which can be applied to life course patterns of a certain valued event or state, allowing me to systematically represent and compare non-monotonic patterns of income, work hours, or career prioritizing, or a range of other topics such as marital satisfaction or health.
Last updated