College of Arts and Sciences


  • O’Brien to Brief U.S. Census Bureau on Information-Gathering

    July 7, 2011

    Sociology Professor Jodi O’Brien heads to Washington, D.C., to consult with branch chiefs of the U.S. Census Bureau in July. She will present strategies for gathering information on same-gender partner households. This invitation comes as a follow-up to the 2006 report “Gender and Justice Issues and Trends in Washington State,” prepared with Shasti Conrad, ’09, for the Washington State Courts Commission on Gender and Justice. The report details the most pressing gender justice issues in the state of Washington.

    Same-gender partner households often face hardships as a result of prejudicial acts in the workplace or in the accessibility and delivery of services. Immigrant and women of color are particular at risk for homelessness, high poverty rates, and lack of employment and educational opportunities. Gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual youth often have no access to financial or medical assistance.

    “The census provides critical demographic information that forms the basis for identifying gaps in service delivery,” O’Brien said. “The Bureau can help states identify these often over-looked and under-served groups.”

    O’Brien received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She joined the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and chairs the Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work. Her research and teaching areas include gender, sexuality, religion, social inequalities, social psychology, social theory, and qualitative research methodologies. O'Brien is a former president of the Pacific Sociological Association and was recently appointed editor of “Contexts,” the journal of the American Sociological Association.

    The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees.


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